Poswillo listed indications for surgical removal of the third molars. The author is from the Royal Dental College of London and the University of London.


Indications for surgical extraction of the third molars:

(1) severe caries

(2) infection

(3) cysts

(4) tumor

(5) destruction or significant crowding of adjacent teeth

(6) pathologic changes in adjacent bone


Possible indication:

(1) prophylactic prior to chemotherapy, organ transplantation, etc.


Routine extraction of asymptomatic third molars in the absence of indications is controversial. Pericoronal infection and pathologic change involving impacted third molars are rare after age 25. Some authors advocate conservative management.


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