3 Evidence


There is no reliable research evidence to support a health benefit to patients from the prophylactic removal of pathology-free impacted third molar teeth.


Every procedure for the removal of an impacted third molar carries risk for the patient, including temporary or permanent nerve damage, alveolar osteitis, infection and haemorrhage as well as temporary local swelling, pain and restricted mouth opening. There are also risks associated with the need for general anaesthesia in some of these procedures, including rare and unpredictable death. Such patients are therefore being exposed to the risk of undertaking a surgical procedure unnecessarily.


The source documentation and opinion made available to the appraisal committee is listed in appendix B.