Third molar surgery is the most common procedure performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons worldwide.
This article addresses the incidence of specific complications and, where possible, offers a preventive or management strategy.
Complications, such as pain, dry socket, swelling, paresthesia of the lingual or inferior alveolar nerve, bleeding, and infection are most common.
Factors thought to influence the incidence of complications after third molar removal include age, gender, medical history, oral contraceptives, presence of pericoronitis, poor oral hygiene, smoking, type of impaction, relationship of third molar to the inferior alveolar nerve, surgical time, surgical technique, surgeon experience, use of perioperative antibiotics, use of topical antiseptics, use of intra-socket medications, and anaesthetic technique.
For the general dental practitioner, as well as the oral and maxillofacial surgeon, it is important to be familiar with all the possible complications after this procedure. This improves patient education and leads to prevention, early recognition and management.
Surgical removal of impacted third molars is one of the most common procedures carried out in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Most third molar surgeries are performed without complications. However, such procedure can lead to serious complications to the patient, such as hemorrhage, persistent pain and swelling, infection, dry socket (alveolar osteitis), dentoalveolar fracture, paresthesia of the inferior alveolar nerve and of the lingual nerve, temporomandibular joint injury and even mandibular fracture.
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