J Korean Acad Pediatr Dent.  2023 Nov;50(4):373-384. 10.5933/JKAPD.2023.50.4.373.

Estimation of Mandibular Third Molar Development Using the Correlation in Dental Developmental Stages

  • 1Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea


This study aims to confirm the average chronologic age according to the developmental stages of the mandibular canine (L3), first and second premolars (L4, L5), and second and third molars (L7, L8) in children and adolescents, and to confirm the developmental stage of L3, L4, L5, and L7, which can estimate the development of L8. A total of 1,956 digital panoramic radiographs of healthy individuals aged between 6 and 15 years who visited Seoul National University Dental Hospital from January 2019 to December 2020 were selected. The developmental stages of L3, L4, L5, L7, and L8 on both sides were evaluated using the dental maturity scoring system proposed by Demirjian and Goldstein. The average age at which the follicle of L8 was first observed was around 9.34 ± 1.35 years and varied from 6 to 12 years. The possibility of agenesis of L8 was high when no traces of L8 were observed after the following stages: L3, L4, and L5 at the developmental stage F and L7 at the developmental stage E; the age was about 10 years. In estimating the development of L8, when only one tooth was considered, estimation accuracy with L5 was the highest, and there was no significant difference when all four teeth were included. This study showed the age distribution according to the developmental stages of L3, L4, L5, L7, and L8 in children and adolescents and confirmed the developmental stages of L3, L4, L5, and L7, which can be used to estimate the development of L8.


Mandibular third molar; Agenesis; Developmental stage; Children and adolescents
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