Assessment of Oral Health-Related Quality of Life Before and After Third Molar Surgery

Daniel A. Shugars, Michael A. Gentile, Nazir Ahmad, Mary F. Stavropoulos, Gary D. Slade, Ceib Phillips, Shawn M. Conrad, Phillip T. Fleuchaus, Raymond P. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study was designed to further our understanding of recovery after third molar surgery by using 2 instruments to measure quality of life outcomes, the more global Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14), and the condition-specific Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) instrument. Patients and Methods: Clinical and quality of life data pre- and postsurgery from 63 patients with all 4 third molars below the occlusal plane, treated with topical minocycline during third molar surgery to reduce the incidence of delayed clinical healing, were available for analyses. Each patient was given 2 questionnaires to complete; the more global OHIP-14 and the HRQOL instrument designed to assess recovery after third molar surgery. Prevalence, Extent, and Severity of the OHIP-14 scores were calculated presurgery and for postsurgery days (PSD) 1, 7, 14. The percentage of patients reporting clinically relevant responses detrimental to quality of life from the condition-specific HRQOL instrument were reported for the same time frame. Results: Study patients were most likely female, less than 25 years old, and Caucasian. Most (72%) had bone removed from both lower third molars. Median surgery time was 27 minutes (interquartile range [IQ], 20, 40 minutes.). Median surgeons' estimate of overall difficulty was 14 of a possible 28 (IQ 10, 18), and the median degree of difficulty for lower third molars was 8 of 14 (IQ 6, 10). Few patients (only 10%) had delayed clinical healing. Prevalence for all OHIP-14 items, percent of patients reporting items "fairly often" or "very often," were increased from presurgery on PSD 1 and then decreased on PSD 7 and PSD 14. OHIP-14 Severity scores, the sum of OHIP-14 responses, followed the same pattern as the Prevalence scores. OHIP-14 Severity scores on PSD 1 were 27 (IQ 16, 34), decreasing to 8 (IQ 3, 13) by PSD 7, and 1 (IQ 0, 5) by PSD 14. Recovery for outcomes addressed by both instruments followed a similar pattern and time course. However, each instrument also assessed distinctly different outcomes, adding information that could not be obtained by 1 instrument alone. Conclusion: Complementary instruments to measure quality of life outcomes provide a broader understanding of recovery after third molar surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1721-1730
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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