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Evaluation of Third Molars: Clinical Examination and Imaging Techniques

      Third molars are thought to have once been a necessity for early human ancestors in order to efficiently chew and digest the cellulose that comprised the plant foliage, which was an integral part of the dietary intake. Due to evolutionary changes and societal advancements, human diets are less plant based, jaw size has become smaller, and the functional need for third molars minimal [
      • Johnson G.B.
      Evidence for evolution.
      ]. Third molars, or wisdom teeth, however, are still present in the majority of people and often require removal to prevent or treat third molar–associated disease states. Critical to the determination of third molar management is the clinical examination and radiographic analysis.
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      Further reading

      1. White R. AAOMS white paper on third molar data; 2007. p. 1–25.