Impacted Third Molars and Anterior Crowding-Beliefs and Evidence | Abstract

Journal of Research in Medical and Dental Science
eISSN No. 2347-2367 pISSN No. 2347-2545

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Impacted Third Molars and Anterior Crowding-Beliefs and Evidence

Author(s): Sarah Alnamlah, Rana Almazroa*, Nawaf Alkhammash, Randa Alfotawi and Sangeetha Premnath


Objectives: The aims of this study were firstly to assess the views of oral surgeons and orthodontists regarding prophylactic third molar extraction (TME) to prevent crowding of anterior teeth (CAT), and secondly to analyze the influence of clinical factors on such views, with a particular interest in the potential roles of age and specialty. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to oral surgeons and orthodontists in the city of Riyadh. The survey questionnaire was self-administered. Factor associations were detected with chi-squared tests. Results: A total of 157 participants responded to the questionnaire, including 71 (45.2%) oral surgeons and 86 (54.8%) orthodontists. Most (N=96; 61.1%) disagreed or strongly disagreed that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between third molar eruption and CAT. An even larger majority (N=120; 76.4%), including 51 oral surgeons and 69 orthodontists, indicated that they do not recommend prophylactic TME to prevent CAT. The most significantly influential factors on their views about TME were age and sex (P<0.05), whereas specialty was not a significantly influential factor (P>0.05). A potential mesial drifting effect of third molars and horizontally oriented impactions were the most reported justifications for removal. Conclusion: Most oral surgeons and orthodontists in Riyadh do not favour prophylactic TME to prevent CAT. The study outcome may combat the subjective health practice of routinely referring patients for prophylactic extraction.

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