The relationship between dental health and variations in the level of third molar removals experienced by populations

D. P. Landes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the relationship between the dental health of populations and the removal of impacted third molars. Design: Data were obtained for the reported episodes of care undertaken in NHS hospitals in England for the surgical removal of third molar teeth and also for the number of removals undertaken in NHS general dental practices in 1994/95. The dental health of the population within the at risk age group for removal of third molars was estimated by using the results of a large scale epidemiological study of twelve-year-old children which took place in 1988/9. The 12-year-old cohort examined would have been 18 years of age in 1994/95. The hospital and general practice data were standardised for age and size of health authority populations and combined on a weighted basis. Setting: Data were identified which enabled levels of third molar surgery undertaken in the NHS for 23 health authorities in England, to be matched to the estimated dental health of their 18 year old populations. Results: A negative correlation of r2 = 0.24 was demonstrated between the reported prevalence of third molar surgery and the dental health of populations. Surgery increased as the dental health of populations improved. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a quarter of the variations in the provision of third molar surgery across health authorities in England is related to differences in the dental health of their populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity dental health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Needs assessment
  • Third molar surgery


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