The necessity of routine clinic follow-up visits after third molar removal

Academic Article


  • Purpose: This randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the clinical necessity of routine follow-up visits after third molar removal under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation in patients aged 15 to 35 years. Patients and Methods: Sixty consecutive cases that required surgical removal of impacted third molars in an outpatient basis were performed by board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Sixty patients were divided randomly into 2 groups: one group received a 2-week postoperative follow-up appointment and the other received no follow-up. All patients received postoperative instructions and were contacted by telephone on the day after surgery. At 2 weeks postoperatively, all patients either returned to the clinic or were interviewed by telephone. Results: Forty-eight patients were included in this study. The mean age was 20.35 years (range, 15 to 33 years). There were no statistical differences in the number of patients and gender between groups of patients who received clinic or telephone follow-up (significance <.05). Seventy-three percent (35 of 48) of total patients preferred telephone follow-up, and 27% (13 of 48) of patients preferred clinic follow-up. Eighty-five percent (29 of 34) of patients who did not have any complaints on postoperative day 1 preferred telephone follow-up (significance <.01). Conclusions: A routine follow-up visit following third molar removal under intravenous sedation is not necessary in patients between 15 and 35 years of age. However, preoperative and postoperative instruction should be clearly specified. A selective review policy may be appropriate if a patient is mentally retarded, is taking psychoactive drugs, or has an intraoperative complications or a complaint registered via telephone call. © 2005 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sittitavornwong S; Waite PD; Holmes JD; Klapow JC
  • Start Page

  • 1278
  • End Page

  • 1282
  • Volume

  • 63
  • Issue

  • 9