In the human being, third molar is the tooth that exhibits more variants during its embryologic development, usually causing diverse anomalies and discomfort when erupting to the oral cavity. It has been pointed out that the prevalence of third molar agenesis is between 9 to 37%. The aim of the present comparative cross-sectional study was to radiographically assess the presence/absence of third molar germs (G3M) in a sample of pediatric patients of Mexican origin. A total of 513 panoramic radiographs were analyzed from patients attending the Pediatric Dentistry Postgraduate Program ( San Luis Potosí University, México), during the years 2011 to 2017. Inclusion criteria were patients between 7 and 18 years old, any gender; children with antecedents of a third molar extraction, previous orthodontic treatment, or with an associated congenital or systemic condition were excluded. Total prevalence G3M agenesis was calculated. Then, statistical comparisons of agenesia proportions per dental quadrant, gender, and age group were performed. 245 panoramic radiographs corresponded to the female gender, while 268 belonged to the male gender. The total prevalence of G3M agenesia was estimated in nearly 56%, and the 7-8 years old group exhibited the highest proportion; however, when this age group was excluded from the analysis, such prevalence decreased to 27.3%. Both mandibular quadrants showed higher proportions of G3M agenesia. There were no significant differences between genders. The total prevalence reported in the present study was found to be well above regarding the international parameters. It is quite possible that lack of radiographic visualization of G3M had been inaccurate in some cases due to the common absence of calcification traces from those teeth during early ages (7-8 years old). The adjusted analysis provided a prevalence value more in line with the recognized standards in the dental literature.

Keywords: Agenesia, Prevalence, Third molar