Surgeon's experience impacts third-molar surgery outcomes

The degree of a surgeon's experience with third-molar surgery has important implications for postoperative complications following surgery, according to a study in the British Dental Journal (July 2, 2010).

Previous reports have shown that a surgeon's experience to be one the most influential factors on surgical outcome, researchers from University College London Hospitals Head and Neck Centre noted.

For the current study, 3,236 patients underwent surgical removal of impacted third molars. All patients included in the study were reviewed, and the various postoperative complications were recorded and statistically compared to the surgeon's grade. Patients' demographics and preoperative radiographic findings were also noted.

Seven specialists and 12 residents performed the surgical procedures. In those patients treated by residents, the incidence of postoperative complications was found to be significant with regard to trismus, infection, alveolar osteitis, and paresthesia. In those treated by specialists, the incidence of postoperative bleeding was found to be statistically significant.

"There is without doubt a relationship between the surgeon's experience and the postoperative complication in third-molar surgery," the researchers concluded.

Copyright © 2010 DrBicuspid.com

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