Surgical removal of impacted third molars is one of the most common surgeries in the oral and maxillofacial region. While there is a general consensus that symptomatic impacted third molars should be removed, management of asymptomatic impacted third molars remains a controversial issue. Although surgeons extract these teeth, orthodontists are often involved in the decision-making process for their management, because not only do the majority of orthodontic patients have asymptomatic impacted third molars but some of them also need an extraction for orthodontic reasons. Here we review the potential risks associated with the retention and extraction of asymptomatic impacted third molars and discuss the orthodontic indications and considerations for their extraction in terms of minimizing risks and maximizing patient benefits.
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