DON’T EXTRACT impacted third lower molars WITHOUT a valid clinical indication

Type of practice

Other treatments

Topic Area


The preventive extraction of asymptomatic impacted third molars is not supported by solid scientific evidence and can unnecessarily expose the patient to the risks associated with the surgical procedure (pain, swelling, hemorrhage, post-extraction alveolar osteitis, temporary or permanent paresthesia, sinusitis and complications related to the use of local anesthetics). Good practice: to EXTRACT the impacted third molars only in the presence of: inflammatory / infectious manifestations; caries and periodontal disease of the third molar and / or of the adjacent element; orthodontic and prosthetic needs.


1.Friedman JW. The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard. American Journal of Public Health. 2007;97(9): 1554-1559. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.100271.
2. Costa MG, Pazzini CA, Pantuzo MC, Jorge ML, Marques LS. Is there justification for prophylactic extraction of third molars? A systematic review. Braz Oral Res. 2013 Mar-Apr;27(2):183-8.
3. Fuster Torres MA, Gargallo Albiol J, Berini Aytés L, Gay Escoda C. Evaluation of the indication for surgical extraction of third molars according to the oral surgeon and the primary care dentist. Experience in the Master of Oral Surgery and Implantology at Barcelona University Dental School. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2008 Aug 1;13(8):E499-504.
4. Bataineh AB, Albashaireh ZS, Hazza'a AM. The surgical removal of mandibular third molars: a study in decision making. Quintessence Int. 2002 Sep;33(8):613-7.



Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.