Are antibiotics necessary after lower third molar removal?

Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology 11/2012; 114(5):S199–S208. DOI: 10.1016/j.oooo.2011.10.022


Patients (n = 110) free of antibiotics, operated on by 3 surgeons ranging in clinical experiences, were evaluated for infection.

Study Design
In the preoperative period and during the second and seventh postoperative days, the following parameters were analyzed: pain, infection, swelling, trismus, body temperature, C-reactive protein levels (CRP), and salivary neutrophil counts (SNC). During surgery, the following parameters were analyzed: systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure; oximetry; heart rate; anesthesia quality; local anesthetic amount; bleeding; surgery difficulty; and surgery duration.

There were some differences in the surgery duration, local anesthetic amount, anesthesia quality, bleeding, pain experienced, trismus, CRP, and SNC, and no changes in hemodynamic parameters, rescue analgesic medication, wound healing, swelling, body temperature, confirmed case of dry socket, or any other type of local infection. Particularly, no systemic infections were found after lower third molar removal (LTMR).

This study suggests that antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary after LTMR when preoperative infections are absent.

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