The Evolution of Third Molars in Orthodontics: What about Anterior Dental Crowding? - A Systematic Review


Third molar
Wisdom tooth
Anterior teeth crowding


How to Cite

Assali A, Oualalou Y, Zaoui F. The Evolution of Third Molars in Orthodontics: What about Anterior Dental Crowding? - A Systematic Review. Integr J Med Sci [Internet]. 2022 Jan. 27 [cited 2022 Jun. 30];9. Available from:


Background: Third molar influence on anterior crowding is controversial, However, it is assumed that they play a major role in compromising dental arch space. Aim: To review the literature to clarify the role of third molars in anterior crowding and relapse after orthodontic treatment by means of a systematic review. Material and methods: A systematic search was conducted based on an electronic search of several databases (Pub Med, ScienceDirect, Cochrane Library) covering publications from 2010 to January 2022. The search was performed using the acronym PICOS, limited to the following keywords in English and French: «wisdom tooth» OR« third molar »AND «anterior teeth crowding». Results: On the basis of the keywords, 549 bibliographical references were initially identified. After the elimination of duplicate references and studies, the number of articles was reduced to 315. A review of titles and abstracts resulted in the selection of 23 articles. After reading the full text, 6 articles were included in this systematic review. Conclusion: No relationship between the incisors crowding and the presence of third molars was identified. Therefore, the indication for prophylactic removal of third molars to avoid incisor crowding is not justified.


Ghaeminia H, Perry J, Nienhuijs ME, Toedtling V, Tummers M, Hoppenreijs TJ, et al. Surgical removal versus retention for the management of asymptomatic disease-free impacted wisdom teeth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Aug 31; (8):CD003879.

National Institutes of Health. Department of Health & Human Services, USA. Quality Assessment of Case-Control Studies. [Accessed 2022 Jan 25]. Available from:

Cotrin P, Freitas KMS, Freitas MR, Valarelli FP, Cançado RH, Janson G. Evaluation of the influence of mandibular third molars on mandibular anterior crowding relapse. Acta Odontol Scand. 2020 May; 78(4):297-302.

Esan T, Schepartz LA. Third molar impaction and agenesis: influence on anterior crowding. Ann Hum Biol. 2017 Feb; 44(1): 46-52.

Stanaityte R, Trakiniene G, Gervickas A. Do wisdom teeth induce lower anterior teeth crowding? A systematic literature review. Stomatologija. 2014; 16(1):15–18.

Hasegawa Y, Terada K, Kageyama I, Tsuchimochi T, Ishikawa F, Nakahara S. Influence of third molar space on angulation and dental arch crowding. Odontology. 2013 Jan; 101(1):22–28.

Karasawa LH, Rossi AC, Groppo FC, Prado FB, Caria PHF. Cross-sectional study of correlation between mandibular incisor crowding and third molars in young Brazilians. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2013 May 1; 18 (3): e505-9.

Cuoghi OA, Sella Rc, de Mendonça MR. Mesiodostal angulations of the mandibla canines , premolars, molars with or without the presence of third molars. Eur J ortho. 2010 Aug; 32(4): 472-6.

Zawawi KH, Melis M. The role of mandibular third molars on lower anterior teeth crowding and relapse after orthodontic treatment: a systematic review. Sci World J. 2014; 2014:615429.

Little RM. The irregularity index: a quantitative score of mandibular anterior alignment. Am J Orthod. 1975 Nov; 68(5):554–563.

Lindauer SJ, Laskin DM, Tüfekçi E, Taylor RS, Cushing BJ, Best AM. Orthodontists and surgeons opinions on the role of third molars as a cause of dental crowding. Am J Orthod Dentofac Orthop. 2007. 132:43–48.

Genest-Beucher S, Graillon N, Bruneau S, Benzaquen M, Guyot L. Does mandibular third molar have an impact on dental mandibular anterior crowding? A literature review. J Stomatol Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2018 Jun;119(3):204-207.

Okazaki K. Relationship between initial crowding and interproximal force during retention phase. J Oral Sci. 2010 Jun; 52(2):197-201.

Salagnac JM. L’indication de germectomie ou d’extraction des 3èmes molaires chez les sujets en cours ou en fin de tratement d’odf est-elle toujours justifiée ? Le point de vue d’un praticien après 40 années d’exercice de l’orthodontie. Rev Orthop Dento Faciale. 2014 ;48(3) :249-260.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 Ahlam Assali, Youssef Oualalou, Fatima Zaoui


Download data is not yet available.