Introduction: Surgical removal of mandibular third molars (M3Ms) is a common oral surgery procedure with well-recognized associated short and long-term complications. The aim of this article was to review the effect of age on the rate of postoperative complications following the removal of lower third molars.
Method: A narrative review was performed via a comprehensive search of the past 20 years of articles on this topic. A PEO (Population, Exposure, Outcome) search strategy was used to generate potentially relevant articles. Secondary research and non-English articles were excluded. The generated articles were then screened for relevance before being included in a comprehensive review.
Results: The initial search, following the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria to the search, generated 170 articles. Following the careful screening of these articles against defined inclusion and exclusion criteria 24 articles were included in this narrative review.
Discussion: Eighteen of the 24 selected articles (75%) revealed a positive correlation between increasing complication rates and increasing age. None of the articles demonstrated that complication rates decrease as we age. Six of the articles were unable to demonstrate a significant difference between the age groups although the validity of some of these articles is questionable.
Conclusion: There is a clear correlation between an increase in experience of postoperative complications and increasing age with a suggestion that 25 years is a significant milestone for this.