Epidemiological study on the surgical removal of third molars

Wisdom teeth are the last of all teeth to erupt in the mouth. This usually happens between the age of 18 to 24.  Because of lack of space or aberrant orientation, the third molars are likely to be impacted and often fail to erupt into a healthy and functional position. (Partially) impacted third molars are associated with many complications. They can cause problems with oral hygiene and symptoms can be painful. In many cases, wisdom teeth are removed to prevent or cure these problems. Wisdom teeth are preferably removed at a younger age, when the roots are not fully developed yet. This makes the extraction easier and results in less complications in comparison to third molar removal in  older patients. Also, pain and swelling are often less pronounced in young people and work or school can be resumed earlier.

At this moment, there are no clear data available in Belgium about the risk of complications and discomfort one can experience after this type of surgery. In this study, we investigate which patients are more prone to these discomforts and complications, in order to optimize the treatment of wisdom teeth to each individual patient. The main goals  of the study are to investigate whether symptomatic third molar extractions are associated with longer/more difficult surgeries and with more complications, compared to asymptomatic third molars and whether surgical difficulty, incidence of complications and postoperative morbidity rise with increasing age.


More information can be found on the website.


Prof. Dr. Constantinus Politis


Prof. dr. Reinhilde Jacobs


drs. Myrthel Vranckx



Multicentric Belgian study




5 years