Third molars: To extract or not to extract?

Admin Dental Press

Edition V20N04 | Year 2015 | Editorial Editorial | Pages 17 to 18

David Normando

Third molar extraction is one of the most frequent procedures in oral surgery. Ten million teeth are extracted from approximately five million individuals every year in the United States.1 The reported reasons for third molar removal include the risk of impaction associated with caries, pericoronitis, periodontal defects in the distal surface of second molars, odontogenic cysts and dental crowding. A prospective study2 showed that general dentists recommend extraction of third molars in 59% of patients, mainly to prevent future problems or because a third molar had an unfavorable orientation or was unlikely to erupt. However, the power to predict third molar eruption is low, and impacted third molars that remain static, with no changes in position or angulation over time, are rare.

Normando D. Third molars: To extract or not to extract? Dental Press J Orthod. 2015 July-Aug;20(4):17-8. DOI:

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