The aim of this study was to identify the indications for the removal of mesio-angular mandibular third molars based on age and dental health as measured by the DMFT (decayed, missing, and filled teeth) score, and to find out if early intervention should be considered. We studied 319 patients who had 431 mesio-angular mandibular third molars removed. Variables recorded were age, primary indication for removal, and the DMFT score. Indications for removal included distal cervical caries (DCC) in the mandibular second molar (n = 180, 44%), pericoronitis (n = 131, 32%), and caries and related disease (n = 62, 15%). The frequency of distal cervical caries (DCC) in the mandibular second molar increased linearly as patients became older and was the most common reason why mesio-angular third molar teeth were removed. This suggests that patients should be advised of the consequences of retaining thesetypes of third molars, and offered prophylactic removal of asymptomatic teeth.
- oral surgery
- third molar