Background/purpose The surgical extraction of impacted third molars (ITMs) is a common surgical procedure in dentistry. If prophylactic removal of ITMs is beneficial, however, is a still disputed issue. The aim of this study was to analysis the pathologic changes in impacted third molars (ITMs) and adjacent teeth according to patient age groups in the Korean population to determine if the prophylactic removal of ITMs is to be supported or not. Materials and methods A retrospective study of patients who underwent surgical extraction of impacted third molars was performed. The patients were divided into 5 groups according to their age. Each group was analyzed with respect to patients' chief complaints, specific pathologic conditions in ITMs, and the damage to adjacent teeth due to untreated ITMs. Results In this study, 2883 impacted third molars in 1109 patients were analyzed. The most common patients' chief complaint was pain, and the frequency of pain was significantly higher in older age groups. The frequency and severity of pathologic changes in ITMs and adjacent second molars due to ITMs were increased with advancing age. Conclusion Based on the results of this study, we conclude that the prophylactic removal of ITMs that have a higher probability of pathologic changes can be considered to be a reasonable treatment modality in younger patients to reduce morbidity resulting from surgical extraction compared with patients who attained advanced age.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Association for Dental Sciences of the Republic of China
- dental caries
- impacted third molar
- periodontal disease
- prophylactic removal