What is the Prevalence of Patients with Asymptomatic, Disease-Free Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth)

An interesting article titled “How Many Patients Have Third Molars and How Many Have One or More Asymptomatic, Disease-Free Third Molars?” appears in the September 2012, supplement 1. (vol. 70, issue 9) of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery written by Thomas B. Dodson, DMD, MPH (pg. S4-S7). The article seems to attempt to arrive at an answer to the question of how many patients really have a wisdom tooth (third molar) that is not causing problems and that has no disease. In the article Dr. Dodson recommends that patients are divided into 4 different categories when having their wisdom teeth evaluated. symptomatic, disease present (based on history and radiological examination) symptomatic, disease absent (includes teething and vague pain symptoms unrelated to wisdom tooth) asymptomatic, disease present (disease is evident from radiological findings or clinical exam but not patient … Read more