Dental Hygienist: Third Molar Surgery, 3e

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About Course #L1001
Review Date: January 1, 2020
Expiration Date: January 1, 2023


This basic-level course will provide 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

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.

About the Author(s)
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.

Course Disclosures
  • 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.

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