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ARTICLE
Year : 2001  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 136-139

Indications for the extraction of impacted third molars in a semi-urban Nigerian Teaching Hospital


Oral and Maxillofacial Unit, Department of Dental Surgery, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
H O Olasoji
Oral and Maxillofacial Unit, Department of Dental Surgery, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Medical records and radiographs of 450 consecutive patients that had extractions of impacted third molars at a semi urban Nigerian Teaching Hospital were studied to highlight common indications for such extraction. Infections accounted for majority (69.6%) of third molars extracted at the lower jaw, followed by periodontal pocket formation distal to second molars (12.5%). Caries, cysts, jaw fractures and neoplasm were respectively responsible for 5.7%, 0.6%,0.5% and 0.3% of impacted lower third molars extracted. Obscure jaw pain (48.4%) was the most common reason for removing impacted upper third molars. Only 2 (3.2%) upper third molars were extracted because of infections. Since pericoronitis was the most common indication for the extraction of impacted lower third molars, it was suggested that where resources for third molar surgery are limited, it may seem reasonable to prioritise removal of asymptomatic third molar covered by soft tissue alone.


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