WISDOM TEETH

Prophylactic removal of impacted third molars

Background

This review summarized the existing evidence on the prophylactic removal of impacted wisdom teeth. The review was originally commissioned in 1996 by the Third Molar Guideline Working Group of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England. It was updated in 1999 as part of the NICE technology appraisal process.

Findings

There is no reliable research evidence to support the prophylactic removal of disease free impacted wisdom teeth. Surgical removal of third molars can only be justified when clear long term benefit to the patient is evident.

Conducted by: F Song1, D Landes1, AM Glenny1, T Sheldon, P Wilson1, I Watt1

1. NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

Publications

NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Prophylactic removal of impacted third molars: is it justified? Eff Matters. 1998;3(2)

Song F, Landes DP, Glenny AM, Sheldon TA. Prophylactic removal of impacted third molars: an assessment of published reviews. Br Dent J. 1997;182(9):339-46

Funding

Commissioned by the Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England