Reasons for Third Molars Extraction by Different Health Care Providers

Wala Dhafar, Rafif Mandura, Amal Dafar, Mohammed Alghamdi


Background: Third molars extraction is one of the most common surgical procedures in daily dental practice. However, the reasons for extraction varies in the literature. Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to investigate the reasons for the extraction of third molars. The secondary objectives were to evaluate if patient- and dentist- related factors affect the reasons for extraction. Methodology: A questionnaire was completed by health care providers in four dental centers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A total of 195 patients (118 females and 77 males), who had their third molars extracted (n=227) were included in this study. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher’s exact test. Results: Caries (42.3%) and prophylaxis (39.2%) were the most common reasons for the extraction of third molars. Extraction for prophylactic reasons was significantly higher among female patients and patients younger than 40 years old (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively). Furthermore, the decision to extract for prophylactic reasons was significantly higher among specialists or consultants as compared to students, interns or residents (74.0% vs. 26.0%; p<0.001). No difference was found between maxillary and mandibular third molars extraction. Conclusion: This study identified caries and prophylaxis as the most common causes of third molars extraction. It was also found that patients' age, gender, as well as dentists' qualification were factors influencing the reasons for extraction.

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