The aim of the following study is to determine the effect of primary closure or dressing on post-operative morbidity after impacted lower third molar surgery.
This was a randomized clinical study of 72 patients who had surgical extraction of impacted mandibular third molars. The subjects were divided into two groups of A and B. Group A had total closure (primary closure) and Group B had whitehead varnish dressing of the socket. Pain, swelling and trismus were evaluated pre-operatively using visual analogue scale, flexible tape measuring method and inter-incisal distance measurement with Vernier Callipers respectively as well as post-operatively on 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd, 5 th and 7 th day.
The study participants consisted of 27 males and 45 females in a ratio 1:1.7. With a mean age of 24.7 ± 4.9 years (range 19-33 years) for Group A and 25.5 ± 4.3 years (range 20-39 years) for Group B. Post-operative pain was not significantly affected by the closure techniques ( P > 0.05). Dressing was found to significantly reduce the degree of swelling and trismus peaking on the 2 nd day ( P = 0.0207 and P = 0.010 respectively).