An evaluation of patients' knowledge about perioperative information for third molar removal

Bernardo Ferreira Brasileiro, Rafaella Mariana Fontes De Bragana, Joseph Edward Van Sickels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Third molar removal is usually accompanied by a high degree of patient anxiety. Lack of knowledge about the procedure is a major contributor to this anxiety. The aim of this study was to investigate the perioperative perceptions of patients who underwent extraction of third molars to assess their concerns during the surgical experience. Issues related to preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative phases of the experience were assessed with the purpose of identifying the most frequent questions and misconceptions. Data were assessed to correlate the influence of previous experience with extraction(s) with the appropriate knowledge of third molar surgery, as well as knowledge variations as to the age and gender of the patients. The sample was composed of 67 patients (43 female patients and 24 male patients) divided into 2 groups: The first had some previous experience with extractions (25 patients), and the second had no experience (42 patients). The most frequent questions regarded the number of teeth to be extracted (65.4%), and the most prevalent misconception was about medications before surgery (28.4%). Patients with a previous history of dental extractions had more questions about use of medication before surgery (P =.03). Patients without previous experience with extraction had more concerns about anesthesia techniques (P =.02) or the number of teeth that would be removed during the same procedure (P =.02). Other questions and misconceptions were not different between these groups. Patients with a history of tooth extraction and those without it presented different patterns of knowledge about third molar surgery. Both groups of patients needed detailed perioperative instructions about the procedure. These results may provide oral and maxillofacial surgeons with useful information about patients' knowledge throughout the surgical process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the Capes Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil, Brasília, Brazil.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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