Impacted wisdom teeth


| Abstract | Cite as


Substantive changes at this update

Prophylactic extraction of asymptomatic, disease-free impacted wisdom teeth One systematic review updated,[17] and one systematic review added.[18] Categorisation unchanged (unknown effectiveness).

Extraction of impacted wisdom teeth: different operative (surgical) techniques Two systematic reviews added,[39][45] as well as two RCTs.[41][42] Categorisation unchanged (unknown effectiveness).


INTRODUCTION: The incidence of impacted wisdom teeth (third molars) is high, with some 72% of Swedish people aged 20 to 30 years having at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth occur because of a lack of space, obstruction, or abnormal position. They can cause inflammatory dental disease manifested by pain and swelling of infected teeth and may destroy adjacent teeth and bone. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: Should asymptomatic, disease-free impacted wisdom teeth be removed prophylactically? What are the effects of different operative (surgical) techniques for removing impacted wisdom teeth? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to October 2013 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. RESULTS: We found 11 studies that met our inclusion criteria. CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: prophylactic extraction, active surveillance, and different operative (surgical) techniques for extracting impacted wisdom teeth.

Cite as

Dodson TB, Susarla SM. Impacted wisdom teeth. Systematic review 1302. BMJ Clinical Evidence. . 2014 August. Accessed [date].

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