Mandibular posterior anatomic limit for molar distalization

Sung Jin Kim, Tae Hyun Choi, Hyoung Seon Baik, Young Chel Park, Kee Joon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction The purpose of this study was to investigate the mandibular posterior anatomic limit for molar distalization. Methods Three-dimensional computed tomography scans were obtained on 34 adults with a skeletal Class I normodivergent facial profile and a normal occlusion. Posterior available space was measured at the crown and root levels along the posterior occlusal line connecting the buccal cusps of the first and second molars on the axial slices. It was also measured at the occlusal level on the lateral cephalograms derived from the computed tomography scans. The measurements on the cephalograms were used to predict the actual posterior available space determined by computed tomography and to determine the presence of root contact with the inner lingual cortex by linear regression and discriminant analyses, respectively. Results The posterior available space was significantly smaller at the root level than at the crown level. Root contact was observed in 35.3% of the 68 roots. The posterior available space measured on the lateral cephalograms resulted in a regression equation with a coefficient of determination of 0.261 to predict actual available space and correctly identified root contact in 66.2% of cases with a threshold value of 3.9 mm. Conclusions The posterior anatomic limit appeared to be the lingual cortex of the mandibular body. Computed tomography scans are recommended for patients who require significant mandibular molar distalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Dentistry ( 6-2013-0090 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthodontics


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