Article: Volume 46 Number 5 Page 406 - May 2019

  Dent Update 2019; 46: 406-410  Read article

Oral surgery:  The Prevention and Management of Distal Cervical Caries of the Mandibular Second Molar

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Abstract: Distal Cervical Caries (DCC) of the mandibular second molar has become a more frequent complication of third molar impaction as a direct consequence of the introduction of NICE’s guidance on the management of wisdom teeth. NICE’s tenet that disease free impacted third molars can be retained is contradicted by the development of DCC on the second molar as its diagnosis asks the simple question of why the impacted third molar was not removed before DCC occurred. This paper aims to address the features of DCC associated with the second molar and outlines how dentists should address its diagnosis but, more importantly, how to recognize those at risk and how patients should be managed.

Clinical relevance: Clinical management of impacted third molar teeth.

Author notes: Louis W McArdle, BDS, MSc, FDS RCS(Eng), Senior Specialist Clinical Teacher and Honorary Consultant Oral Surgeon, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London, Floor 18, Guy’s Tower, Guy’s Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK. (Email:

Objective: To describe the significant features of distal cervical caries on the second molar and discuss the risk factors associated with it.


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