In the July Point/Counterpoint articles regarding evaluation and management of asymptomatic third molars, Dr Kandasamy made a strong assertion that the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons’ (AAOMS) new guidelines for the extraction of asymptomatic third molars might be based more on a practice management decision rather than a biologic one (Kandasamy S. Evaluation and management of asymptomatic third molars: watchful monitoring is a low-risk alternative to extraction. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2011;140:11-7). I have been a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) for 50 years and have never observed the orthodontic specialty to make policy based on anything less than what was best for the patient. I would assume that the AAOMS operates under the same ethics and guidelines for its members. That is not to say that individual members of both organizations might not vary from the script at times, but I would hope that the overall goal of the vast majority of AAO and AAOMS practitioners is excellence of diagnosis and treatment results. I suspect that 50 years from now, third molars will still be fodder for point/counterpoint discussions.
Asymptomatic third molars
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