Dent J (Basel) 2020 Jul 1;8(3). Epub 2020 Jul 1.
Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Milan, 20100 Milan, Italy.
The aim of this study is to assess whether operculectomy in patients with retained second molars eases spontaneous tooth eruption in respect to untreated controls. Two hundred and twenty-two patients with delayed eruption of at least one second molar were selected from the archives of the Department of Orthodontics, Milan, Italy. Eighty-eight patients, 40 males and 48 females (mean age 14.8 ± 1.3 years), met the inclusion criteria. Records were then divided into case and control groups. The case group consisted of patients that underwent removal of the overlaying mucosa over second molars (i.e., operculectomy) and the control group consisted of subjects who retained their operculum over an unerupted second molar and were followed for one year without performing any treatment. A total of 145 impacted second molars were considered (75 cases, 70 controls). A risk ratio with 95% confidence interval was used to compare the prevalence of eruption in the two groups. Spontaneous eruption occurred in 93.3% of cases in the operculectomy group (70/75), while in the control group, 10% teeth erupted spontaneously (7/70). Spontaneous eruption in the upper arch occurred in 95.2% of cases among treated patients (40 out of 42), while in the lower arch, spontaneous eruption occurred in 90.9% of cases (30 out of 33). Spontaneous eruption of the upper second molars in the control group occurred in 8.5% of cases (3 out of 35), while in the lower arch, it occurred in 8.5% (3 out of 35). Operculectomy can ease the spontaneous eruption of retained second molars and reduce the chances of inclusion.