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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-5

The buccal groove of the lower first molar: Comparing odontometric position with anatomic nomenclature

1 Department of Child Oral Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Dental Centre, Military Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Dental Student, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
J U Ifesanya
Department of Child Oral Health, Orthodontic Unit, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, University College Hospital, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_6_17

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Background: The buccal groove of the lower first molar (LM1) is the reference point in the clinical classification of malocclusion based on Edward Angle's criteria, a classification of great value in orthodontic practice. The groove has been popularly named as the mid-buccal, anterior buccal, or simply as the buccal groove. This variation in nomenclature suggests that the location of the buccal groove differs in different populations. Aim: This study aimed to ascertain the exact location of the buccal groove on mandibular first molars as well as its morphological variations and possible clinical implications in this environment. Methods: The study casts were retrieved from the orthodontic units of University College Hospital, Ibadan, and Military Hospital, Lagos. Sociodemographic variables, the mesiodistal width of the LM1, number of buccal grooves, and location of the buccal groove along the mesiodistal width of the LM1 were ascertained. Data were analysed using the SPSS software version 22. Paired t-test was used to assess the relationships between quantitative variables while the Chi-square test assessed qualitative variables and the level of significance was set at P< 0.05. Results: The mean age of the patients was 15.50 ± 7.09 years. The mean mesiodistal widths of the lower right and left molars were 11.27 ± 0.78 mm and 11.41 ± 0.86 mm, respectively. Paired t-test showed that the left buccal groves were more anteriorly located than the right buccal grooves (P < 0.001). The buccal grooves were more anteriorly placed irrespective of the number of grooves present on the LM1, both left and right (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The most appropriate nomenclature for the buccal groove of the LM1 is the anterior buccal groove. Caution must be exercised in classifying individuals with uncommon buccal groove location in clinical orthodontic practice.

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