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Article: Volume 42 Number 9 Page 824 - November 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 824-828

Oral surgery:  Coronectomy; Good or Bad?

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Abstract: The removal of mandibular third molars can be complicated by injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN). Coronectomy retains the tooth root; this method has been found to be preferable to extraction in the context of mandibular third molars. A failed coronectomy may cause mobilization of these roots, thereby requiring a subsequent extraction. Having undergone a previous coronectomy, extraction is then safer as the roots usually migrate away from the IAN. Computed tomography is more accurate than radiography when imaging mandibular third molars pre-operatively owing to its three-dimensional nature. Longer studies need to be conducted to evaluate the long term benefits of coronectomy.

Clinical relevance: The removal of mandibular third molars can be complicated by the presence of the close lying inferior alveolar nerve. Coronectomy can be useful in this setting and therefore it is important to be aware of the pros and cons of this technique.

Author notes: Humera Sarwar, Foundation Year 2, BMBS, Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow and Sameer Mahmood-Rao, Upper Sixth Form, St Dominic’s College, Harrow, London, UK.

Objective: To explain the technique giving the advantages and disadvantages of this method, especially when compared to traditional tooth extraction.