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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Nov;69(11):2691-7. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.06.205. Epub 2011 Aug 23.

Effect of removing an impacted mandibular third molar on the periodontal status of the mandibular second molar.

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Department of Surgery, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the change in the periodontal status of mandibular second molars after surgical extraction of adjacent impacted lower third molars.


The study was based on a 1-year follow-up of 48 patients (20 men and 28 women) recruited consecutively after the extraction of an impacted lower third molar. Panoramic radiographs were obtained and clinical examinations were carried out at baseline to determine the periodontal status (probing depth and dental plaque and gingival indices) both for the second molar and for the 4 posterior sextants. After surgical removal of the impacted mandibular third molars, all patients were assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months for changes in periodontal status.


The periodontal health of the second molar was found to improve gradually after third molar surgery in all clinical parameters. Probing depth was gradually reduced by about 0.6 mm quarterly, until a final depth of 2.6 ± 0.8 mm was attained. The relative risk of having a plaque index and gingival index coded as 0 (healthy) or 1 (minor problems) was about 10 times higher at the end of the follow-up than at baseline for both indices. The periodontal status of the 4 posterior sextants also improved gradually. Molar depth, according to the Pell and Gregory classes and types, seemed to be the main factor modulating both the baseline probing depth and the change in probing depth during follow-up.


Our results suggest that the initial periodontal breakdown established on the distal surfaces of the second molars and in the periodontal health of the 4 posterior sextants can be significantly improved 1 year after surgical removal of the ipsilateral lower third molar.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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