Advocacy White Paper on Third Molar Surgery by AAOMS

Recently the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) issue a Press Release located over at

In the conclusion of the press release it states

“The AAOMS encourages patients and their families to talk to their general dentist, orthodontist or family physician to determine whether third molar surgery is indicated. If a decision is made to retain these teeth, regular dental check-ups and good dental hygiene to control or prevent periodontal disease are essential.”

The press release discusses a recent Advocacy White Paper released on Third Molar Surgery. This is located at

I think the this recent White Paper issued on November 10, 2011, is well worth the read for anyone considering having elective healthy wisdom teeth surgery performed.

The paper mentions some of the recent controversy of the medical necessity of removing erupted and impacted third molars.

Numerous references to the scientific literature are provided.

Of course as an adovacy paper it states

” AAOMS fully supports the elective, therapeutic removal of impacted  third molar teeth that are not likely to erupt into a disease free position, whether the third molar teeth  exhibit symptoms or not, and preferably prior to the onset of periodontal or pericoronal disease”

Near the end of the white paper it states

“There is no pat answer, cookbook recipe, or  flow chart that is universally accepted regarding the decision making process. The presence of the third  molar teeth, their position within the jaws and or dental arches, the condition of the teeth and  associated teeth and structures, the presence or potential for pathology associated with the third molar  teeth must be considered carefully. The risks of complications involved with early treatment of third  molar teeth that are likely to cause problems versus the morbidity caused by retained third molar teeth  and subsequent treatment in an older patient must be weighed.”

Of course as an advocacy paper it is slightly biased towards surgical intervention.

There is discussion of a case in the literature

“of a patient who is “60 years old, had taken bisphosphonates, had undergone chemotherapy, aortic, and mitral valve  replacements”. She presented with acute cellulitis. Days of hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation  were necessary to restore her health”.

Of course as I like to point out a 60 year old who made it that long without problems from wisdom teeth is pretty good when compared to cases like mine of young healthy adults who had drastic and serious complications from wisdom teeth extraction as indicated over on the complications page

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