The incidence and extraction causes of third molars among young adults in Poland

Open access


Despite many years of observation, the issue of third molars is still open for discussion. Among human teeth, third molars vary the most in number and morphology, which results from genetic changes and environmental factors affecting the evolution of the human dentition. This research aims to study various aspects of third molars in the population of young Poles, such as the incidence, time of eruption and causes of extraction in men and women. The analyses consider the socio-economic status of the respondents, including the frequency of visits to the dentist. Eight hundred students, aged 19–25 (14.4% of men and 85.6% of women) of the universities located in Wroclaw, Poland, took part in an online questionnaire survey. The incidence of third molars was smaller in the women (32.4–34.9%) than in men (47.8–56.5%) (p<0.001). For both sexes, the most frequent causes of extraction were abnormal tooth position (29.6–54.5%) and orthodontic treatment (15.5–27.3%). Both incidence and causes of extraction were related for all the examined pairs of teeth (upper–lower teeth and right–left teeth). The men (17.94–18.49 year) and women (18.42–18.83 year) did not differ in the mean age of their third molars’ eruption. The men visited the dentist less often than the women did (p<0.001). The study presents original research and confronts it with published results. Despite the limitations of an online survey, the results can contribute to more advanced research conducted on a larger scale. In particular, more detailed research is recommended for the Polish population, for which such studies are scarce.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Aida J Ando Y Akhter R Aoyama H Masui M Morita M. 2006. Reasons for permament tooth extractions in Japan. J Epidemiol 16:214–19.

  • Al-Ani A Antoun J Thomson W Merriman T Farella M. 2017. Hypodontia: an update on its etiology classification and clinical managemen. BioMed Res Int 1–9 (Article ID 9378325 doi:10.1155/2017/9378325).

  • Almonaitiene R Balciuniene I Tutkuviene J. 2010. Factors influencing permanent teeth eruption. Part one – general factors. Stomatologija 12:67–72.

  • Biedziak B. 2004. Etiologia i występowanie agenezji zębów – przegląd piśmiennictwa. Dent Med Probl 41:531–35.

  • Bolanos M Moussa H Manrique M Bolanos M. 2003. Radiographic evaluation of third molar development in Spanish children and young people. Forensic Sci Int 133:212–19.

  • Bouloux GF Steed MB Perciaccante VJ. 2007. Complications of third molar surgery. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am 19(1):117–28.

  • Byahatti S Mohammed S Ingafou I. 2011. Prevalence of eruption status of third molars in Lybian students. Dent Res J 9:152–57.

  • Carter K Worthington S. 2015. Morphologic and dermatographic predictors of third molar agenesis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Dent Res 94:886–94.

  • Celikoglu M Miloglu O Kazanci F. 2010. Frequency of agenesis impaction angulation and related pathologic changes of third molar teeth in orthodontic patients. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 68:990–95.

  • Chiapasco M De Cicco L Marrone G. 1993 Side effects and complications associated with third molar surgery. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 76(4):412–20.

  • Contar CM de Oliveira P Kanegusuku K Berticelli RD Azevedo-Alanis LR Machado MA. 2010. Complications in third molar removal: A retrospective study of 588 patients. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal 15(1):e74–8.

  • Costa MG Pazzini CA Pantuzo MC Jorge ML Marques LS. 2013. Is there justification for prophylactic extraction of third molars? A systematic review. Braz Oral Res 27(2):183–88.

  • Daito M Tanaka T Hieda T. 1992. Clinical observations on the development of third molars. J Osaka Dent Univ 26:91–104.

  • Deliverska EG Petkova M. 2016. Complications after extraction of impacted third molars-literature review. J of IMAB. 22(2):1202–1211(DOI: 10.5272/jimab.2016223.1202).

  • Dyrkas M Jankowska K Czupryna S. 2003. Ocena częstości występowania zaburzeń rozwojowych zębów u pacjentów leczonych w Katedrze Ortodoncji Instytutu Stomatologii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Dent Med Probl 40:349–54.

  • Engström C Engström H Sagne S. 1983. Lower third molar development in relation to skeletal maturity and chronological age. Angle Orthod 53:97–106.

  • Friedman JW. 2007. The prophylactic extraction of third molars: a public health hazard. Am J Public Health 97(9):1554–59.

  • Jamieson L Thomson M. 2002. Dental health dental neglect and use of services in an adult Dunedin population sample. N Z Dent J 98:4–8.

  • Jędryszek A Kmiecik M Paszkiewicz A. 2009. Przegląd współczesnej wiedzy na temat hipodoncji. Dent Med Probl 46:118–25.

  • Kruger E Thomson W Konthasinghe P. 2001. Third molar outcomes from age 18 to 26: Findings from a population-based New Zealand longitudinal study. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 92:150–55.

  • Machorowska-Pieniążek A Rojek U Krukowska-Drozd O Liśniewska-Machorowska B. 2010. Agenezja trzecich zębów trzonowych. Ann Acad Med Siles 64:22–8.

  • Malinowski A Bożiłow W. 1997. Podstawy antropometrii. Metody techniki normy. Warszawa – Łódź: Wydawnictwo PWN.

  • Normando D. 2015. Third molars: To extract or not to extract? Dental Press J Orthod 20(4): 17–8.

  • Osborn T Frederickson G Small I Torgerson T. 1985. A prospective study of complications related to mandibular third molar surgery. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 43:767–69.

  • Pindborg J. 1970. Abnormalities of tooth morphology In J Pindborg ed. Pathology of the dental hard tissues. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.

  • Punwutikorn J Waikakul A Ochareon P. 1999. Symptoms of unerupted mandibular third molars. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 87:305–10.

  • Salik A Shaikh A Rahman T Ansari K. 2019. Study of complications of surgical removal of maxillary third molar. J Oral Med Oral Surg Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 5(1):1–3.

  • Santosh P. 2015. Impacted Mandibular Third Molars: Review of Literature and a Proposal of a Combined Clinical and Radiological Classification. Ann Med Health Sci Res 5(4):229–34.

  • Scarel RM Trevilatto PC Di Hipolito O Jr Camargo LE Line SR. 2000. Absence of mutations in the homeodomain of the MSX1 gene in patients with hypodontia. Am J Med Genet 92:346–49.

  • Schwartz–Arad D Lipovsky A Pardo M Adut O Dolev E. 2017. Interpretations of complications following third molar extraction. Quintessence Int 49(1): 33–9.

  • Szubert P Sokalski J Czechowska E. 2007. Zabiegi usuwania trzecich zębów trzonowych w materiale Katedry i Kliniki Chirurgii Stomatologicznej Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Poznaniu w latach 1982–1988 oraz 2004–2007. Dent Med Probl 44:456–62.

  • Thomson W Williams S Broadbent J Poulton R Locker D. 2010. Long-term dental visiting patterns and adult oral health. J Dent Res 89:307–11.

  • Vastardis H. 2000. The genetics of human tooth agenesis: New discoveries for understanding dental anomalies. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 17:650–56.

  • Yun-Hoa J Bong-Hae C. 2013. Prevalence of missing and impacted third molars in adults aged 25 years and above. Imaging Sci Dent 43:219–25.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.55

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.22
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.472

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 55 55 7
PDF Downloads 44 44 9