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Third Molar Removal and Orofacial Pain: a Population-Based Survey

Author(s): Tatiana V. Macfarlane | Anthony S. Blinkhorn | Laura J. Stevenson | Paul Coulthard

Journal: Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Research
ISSN 2029-283X

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: e4;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: orofacial pain | molar | third | tooth | wisdom | tooth extraction | epidemiology

Objectives: The aim of the current study was to investigate whether there was a relationship between a history of third molar removal and the prevalence of orofacial pain in a sample of the general population.Material and methods: A survey was conducted in South East Cheshire, United Kingdom (81% participation rate). Information was collected using postal questionnaires (n = 1510) and dental records (n = 809).Results: Participants who reported third molar extractions were more likely to report orofacial pain (RR = 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01 - 1.65). Participants with a more recent history of extractions (< 8 years ago) as recorded in dental records were more likely to report orofacial pain compared to those who had all third molar present (RR = 1.91; 95% CI 1.10 - 3.32).Conclusions: This research suggests that self-reported third molar removal is linked to self-reported orofacial pain, however evidence from one study is not sufficient to give an unequivocal answer.
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