• Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Len Tolstunov, DDS
Peer Reviewer(s): Mark J. Szarejko, DDS, FAGD
Item#: L0791
Contents: 1 Course Book (32 pages)
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Third Molar Surgery, 2nd Edition

Price $19.95
Item # L0791
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Review Date: November 3, 2016

Expiration Date: November 2, 2019


Treatment philosophy toward extraction of third molars (wisdom teeth) varies in different developed countries. It ranges from observation in many countries in Europe to a prophylactic removal approach in the United States. A more proactive stance on often asymptomatic wisdom teeth extraction takes into consideration chronic inflammation that is related to the impacted wisdom teeth and its influence on the patient’s overall health; age of the patient; relative ease of early extraction (before full root development); difficulty of removal/type of impaction; and proximity to the inferior alveolar nerve, lingual nerve, and maxillary sinus. Such preventive surgical treatment can be done under local anesthesia, oral sedation with or without nitrous oxide inhalation sedation or intravenous sedation, with the level of sedation corresponding to the nature of the surgery and the patient’s level of anxiety about the procedure.

This basic-level course provides a review of the classification of impactions of third molars and the common surgical instruments and techniques employed for the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth. No surgical technique is without the potential for complications, and the most serious complications resulting from the extraction of wisdom teeth involve trauma to the inferior alveolar or lingual nerves, which can result in temporary or permanent adverse neurosensory changes. Using the empiric information presented in this course about impacted wisdom teeth, the potential difficulty of their extraction, and postsurgical complications, clinicians can determine whether their surgical expertise is at a high enough level for the extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth or if they should refer such patients to an oral surgeon.



AGD Subject Code: 310
Western Schools designates this activity for 2 continuing education credits.



Course Objectives

  • Explain the varied clinical presentations of third molars.
  • Cite the classification and surgical management of third molars.
  • List the risks and complications of third molar extractions.
  • Describe the treatment modalities and specific surgical techniques available for third molar surgery.
  • Outline established criteria for third molar removal in the United States.
  • List the benefits of a preventive strategy in relation to third molars.


Len Tolstunov, DDS, is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California. He graduated from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry with Honors in 1992 and in 1997 from the University of California San Francisco’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Training Program. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. In addition, Dr. Tolstunov is a fellow of the American and California Associations of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons; a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists; and a member of local and national dental and oral and maxillofacial surgery associations, including the American Dental Association, American Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and the Academy of Osseointegration. Dr. Tolstunov has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has lectured nationally and internationally on bone grafting, ridge-split procedure, and other implant dentistry and oral surgery topics. He maintains a private practice in oral and maxillofacial surgery in San Francisco.


Mark J. Szarejko, DDS, FAGD, received a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and a DDS from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985. He has been a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry since 1994 and a Certified Correctional Healthcare Professional since 2007. Dr. Szarejko has more than 30 years of dental experience in New York and Florida. He is currently staff dentist at the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, Florida, and has been an examiner for the State of Florida dental and dental hygiene examinations since 1994. Dr. Szarejko has presented nationally on correctional healthcare and has authored more than 20 continuing education courses.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.