Surgical extractions of wisdom teeth at Tufts University, USA according to UK’s NICE guidelines

Parus Amit Shah, Bilal Ahmed, David Joey Chang, Dimitrios Fakitsas

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To investigate the reasons for extraction of third molars (3Ms) at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) and compare this to the UK’s NICE guidelines.

Data were collected at TUSDM retrospectively from 99 patients who underwent surgery in 2019 under American Dental Association (ADA) codes D7220, D7230, D7240 and D7241 (removal of impacted tooth in soft tissue, partially bony, completely bony and with unusual surgical complications). Patient details of age, location of 3M, Winter's classification of impaction, reason for extraction, need for bony removal, type of anaesthesia or sedation, prescribed medications and complications were recorded.

A total of 274 surgical extractions of teeth were recorded. Ages ranged from 15 to 39, with an average age of 24. Intravenous sedation (IVS) was used in 80% of patients with an average of 3.6 3Ms extracted in each of these patients, when local anaesthetic was used alone an average of two 3Ms were extracted. Ninety per cent and 78.7% of maxillary and mandibular 3Ms, respectively, were extracted with no pathology. Thirteen per cent of mandibular 3Ms were extracted due to pericoronitis (usually a single episode), 4% due to caries and 2.3% due to distal second molar (2M) caries. There were five instances of post-operative complications, the worst being hypoesthesia of the right inferior dental (ID) nerve for 3 months.

Wisdom teeth are removed earlier at Tufts for prophylactic reasons with the intention of preventing future problems and caries in the adjacent tooth. More evidence is required to decide which patients would benefit from prophylactic extractions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Surgery
Early online date26 Feb 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery


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