Indications and risk factors for complications of lower third molar surgery in a Nigerian teaching hospital
Background: The surgical extraction of impacted third molars is a common oral surgical procedure, and it is often associated with complications such as sensory nerve damage, dry socket, pain, swelling, trismus, infection and hemorrhage.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the surgical indications and risk factors for complications of third molar surgery at a Nigerian teaching hospital.
Materials and Methods: Medical records of patients referred to the Oral Surgery Clinic of our institution for surgical extraction of their impacted mandibular third molars from January 2008 to December 2010 were retrospectively examined. Information on patients’ demography, types of impaction, operative parameters and complications were obtained and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 13), Chicago, IL, USA. A P < 0.0.5 was considered significant.
Results: A total of 330 impacted teeth were extracted from 250 patients. Male comprises (104/250 [41.6%]) and female (146/250 [58.4%]). The mesioangular (176/330 [53.4%]) and distoangular (73/330 [22.1%]) impactions were the commonest types. Recurrent pericoronitis (154/330 [46.7%]) was the most common indication for extraction. The complications were delayed healing (19/330 [5.8%]), alveolar, osteitis (9/330 [2.7%]) and injury to alveolar nerve (2/330 [0.6%]). Cigarette smoking (P < 0.001), Oral contraceptives use (P = 0.01), age of the patient (P = 0.03) and the surgeon’s experience (P = 0.04) were found to be significantly associated with the development of alveolar osteitis; nerves injuries were significantly associated with the raising of a lingual flap (P < 0.001) and the technique of surgery (P ≤ 0.001).
Conclusion: The age of the patient, cigarette smoking and oral contraceptive use at the time of surgery are some of the factors affecting outcome in third molar surgery.
Keywords: Indications and complications, Surgery, Third molar