Varpio M, Wellfelt B Disturbed eruption of the lower second molar: clinical appearance, prevalence, and etiology. ASDC J Dent Child. 1988; 55:114-118
Grover PS, Lorton L The incidence of unerupted permanent teeth and related clinical cases. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1985; 59:420-425
Fu PS, Wang JC, Wu YM Impacted mandibular second molars. Angle Orthod. 2012; 82:670-675
Shpack N, Finkelstein T, Lai YH Mandibular permanent second molar impaction treatment options and outcome. Open J Dent Oral Med. 2013; 1
Shapira Y, Finkelstein T, Shpack N Mandibular second molar impaction. Part I: Genetic traits and characteristics. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2011; 140:32-7
Turley PK The management of mesially inclined/impacted mandibular permanent second molars. J World Fed Orthod. 2020; 9:(3S)S45-S53

A simple way to manage impacted second molars

From Volume 16, Issue 2, April 2023 | Page 105


Elizabeth O'Higgins

Consultant Orthodontist, Kings College Dental Institute, London

Articles by Elizabeth O'Higgins


Were you a Damon enthusiast? Wondering what to do with all those self-ligating brackets and molar tubes you still have lying around? Outlined in this Trick of the Trade is a simple method for aligning impacted second molars using self-ligating molar tubes.

Impaction of second molars has a reported incidence of between 0.03% and 1.7% in the general population, with a higher incidence encountered in orthodontic patients.1,2,3,4,5 The second molars are usually mesio-angularly impacted against the distal surface of the first molar, and to attempt disimpaction requires a distalizing and uprighting force. This can be applied using an uprighting spring attached to the main archwire, or a mini-screw.4 The problem with this method is, that apart from involving some intricate wire bending, to ensure adequate vertical anchorage, the main archwire needs to be a minimum of 0.018” stainless steel that can only be placed following levelling and aligning. This can lead to a delay in treatment while the second molar is then aligned before the working archwire can be placed to complete levelling of the lower arch and any space closure. Therefore, it would be better to disimpact the second molar at the same time as the initial phase for levelling and aligning the lower arch. Alternatively, skeletal anchorage can be used in the form of a mini-screw to which an uprighting spring can be applied.6

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Orthodontic Update and reading some of our resources. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Up to 2 free articles per month
  • New content available