Comparison of operative ‘difficulty’ with post-operative sequelae in lower third molar surgery

Third molar difficulty and postoperative sequelae

  • Adekunle Moses Adetayo West African College of Surgeons, Nigeria Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Modupe Olusola Adetayo Nigerian association of Biochemist
  • Mayowa Solomon Somoye
  • Michael O Adeyemi
Keywords: Inflammatory complications, Lower Third Molar, Pederson scale, Tooth impaction


Background: The outcome of studies on the effect of patients’ factors, dental factors and operative factors on postoperative sequelae following surgical extraction of lower third molar have been unequivocal.

Objective: To determine the effect of surgical difficulty (using Pederson’s scale), Body Mass Index (BMI) and operative time on the extent of post-operative pain, swelling and trismus following third molar surgery.

Methods: The study was a prospective analytical study of the effect of surgical difficulty, BMI, age and operative time – Total Intervention Time (TIT) - on the extent of post-operative pain, swelling and trismus. Eighty-four subjects with surgical extraction of impacted lower third molar were studied. All the subjects had a standard Peri-apical radiograph through which the difficulty index was calculated for all third molars using the Pederson scale. Anthropometric vertical and horizontal facial measurements and pain measurement were taken pre-operatively and post-operatively on days 1, 3, 5 and 7.

Results: Of the 84 subjects, 16 (19%) were males, while 68 (81%) were females in the ratio of 1:4.2. BMI showed a positive correlation with all the three variables and was significant for swelling on the post-operative days assessed while TIT showed a negative correlation with most of the variables and was significant for trismus.

Conclusion: This study showed that age and operative time might have an inverse relationship with the common post-operative complications after lower third molar surgery and BMI might influence the extent of these complications.

Author Biographies

Modupe Olusola Adetayo, Nigerian association of Biochemist

Associate Lecturer, Dept. of Biochemistry, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State.

Mayowa Solomon Somoye

West African College of Surgeons

Michael O Adeyemi



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Original Research