The Complications Associated with the Extraction of Asymptomatic Impacted Mandibular Third Molars: A Prospective Clinical Study of 63 Patients

Background: There are controversies and debates over the risks associated with the retention of asymptomatic impacted mandibular third molars when compared with the need for their extraction.

Objective: To determine the incidence and types of complications after the surgical extraction of asymptomatic impacted mandibular third molars.

Patients and methods: This was a four-year prospective, single blinded, clinical study, carried out at the Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic of our institution. The variables analyzed were patients’ age, gender, types and site of impaction, and complaints during reviews.

Results: Overall, 115 patients with asymptomatic impacted mandibular third molars were seen, and 63/115 (54.8%) were treated. The age of the patients ranged from 26-65 years with a mean age of 42.3 ± 3.4 years. Majority (n=47, 74.6%) of the patients were in the age category of 31-50 years. The male: female ratio was 1: 1.3. Mesioangular (n=33, 52.4%) impaction was the most common. Complication rate was 4.8%, comprising two (3.2%) females and one (1.6%) male who had numbness of the ipsilateral lower lip. The numbness resolved by the 4th post-operative week, and the extraction sockets clinically healed uneventfully.

Conclusion: This study shows that the complications associated with the surgical extractions of the asymptomatic impacted mandibular third molars were acute, neurological and without a permanent sequel.


Charles E Anyanechi and Birch D Saheeb

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