Declassifying Mobility Classification

Anita Aminoshariae, Scott A. Mackey, Leena Palomo, James C. Kulild

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Tooth mobility is often discussed among dental health care providers according to a numerical scale (ie, 1, 2, or 3) without a clear understanding of the definition of each category. Thus, a comprehensive review to examine and discuss the various classifications is needed. The aim of this comprehensive review was to discuss the main clinical classifications of tooth mobility. Methods: The authors conducted electronic searches in MEDLINE, Scopus, and PubMed. Additionally, the authors manually searched the textbooks, gray literature, and bibliographies of all relevant articles. Results: The most commonly referenced clinical index for mobility was the Miller index; yet, many other mobility classifications exist as well as modifications of those indexes. The literature has been very inconsistent and at times inaccurate when classifying mobility; using various stages of mobility using grades, classes, and scores interchangeably and not defining the meaning of the actual numerical scores/terminologies are common problems. Conclusions: In order to avoid ambiguity and provide clarity regarding the impact of degrees of mobility when used clinically, this review comprehensively discusses different classifications and definitions of tooth mobility with attention to the importance of using them consistently and accurately. There is a need to standardize 1 classification for mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1539-1544
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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