The third molars (better known as wisdom teeth) are the last to erupt in the dental arch, usually between 16 and 20 years of age.

In the past, wisdom teeth helped chew roots, nuts and raw meats. However, due to the lower development of the jaws due to an increasingly pasty contemporary diet, the third molars end up not finding space to erupt normally. They may be related to crowding of the other teeth, so extraction is often recommended. Currently, third molars are considered unnecessary for human development.


Formal indications for extraction of third molars are:

1. Third molars that are partially erupted or impacted (mesioangular) in contact with the second molar, in which the cuspid junction may cause distal caries in the second molar. This mesial inclination causes root exposure of the second molar and hinders the hygiene of that area, which leads to the formation of dental plaque and consequent formation of dental caries in the second molar. The third molar must be extracted in these situations to preserve the second molar. In some cases, it may not be possible to preserve the second molar, which must also be extracted.

2. Third molars with caries or periapical lesions, signs of dental rhizolysis or root fracture are indicated for extraction.

3.Third molars associated with tumours or odontogenic cysts are indicated for extraction.

4. Third molars are located in an anatomical area that is addressed in several surgeries, namely in orthognathic surgery. The extraction of third molars is part of the pre-orthognathic surgery protocol.

5. Two episodes of pericoronitis are an indication for extraction of third molars.

6. There may be other indications for extraction of third molars that should be discussed between the patient and the doctor.

At the Instituto Português da Face, we only perform extraction of the 4 wisdom teeth under general anaesthesia with an exclusive protocol that enables the patient to return home 6 hours after the intervention.