• Article

Risk factors associated with prolonged recovery and delayed healing after third molar surgery

PURPOSE: We sought to identify the demographic, oral health, and surgical risk factors associated with prolonged recovery after third molar surgery using health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and clinical outcomes. PATIENTS AND METHODS: HRQOL responses from patients and clinical outcomes were obtained after third molar surgery. Criteria were selected for HRQOL outcomes that separated patients with from those without prolonged recovery. Delayed clinical healing was indicated by a patient having at least 1 postsurgery visit with treatment. Risk assessment models for prolonged HRQOL recovery and delayed clinical healing were developed using stepwise logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: We included 547 subjects with HRQOL and clinical outcome data in this analysis. Age, gender, and occlusal plane position were statistically significantly associated with prolonged recovery for early symptoms, oral function, and pain. Recovery for lifestyle was prolonged only if both lower third molars were below the occlusal plane before surgery. Age, gender, prior symptoms related to the third molars, and the surgeon's perception of difficulty were statistically significant predictors of delayed clinical recovery. CONCLUSIONS: Certain demographic and oral health conditions available to the surgeon before surgery, and characteristics of the surgery itself, increase the risk of a prolonged recovery for HRQOL outcomes and delayed clinical outcomes after third molar surgery


Phillips, C., White, RP., Shugars, DA., & Zhou, X. (2003). Risk factors associated with prolonged recovery and delayed healing after third molar surgery. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 61(12), 1436-1448.