%0 Journal Article
%A Tulloch, JF
%A Antczak-Bouckoms, AA
%T Decision analysis in the evaluation of clinical strategies for the management of mandibular third molars
%D 1987
%J Journal of Dental Education
%P 652-660
%V 51
%N 11
%X Quantitative methods of technology assessment that consider the magnitude of the technology's effect and also incorporate the elements of uncertainty, risk, and preference are needed. This study uses the methods of decision analysis to evaluate a common dental problem: whether or not to extract asymptomatic mandibular third molars. Three alternative strategies are considered. The expected disability of an extraction, measured as equivalent "days of standard discomfort" (DSD), is used as the outcome measure of interest. The analysis suggests that under a wide range of assumptions about the likelihood of different impaction types, chance of pathology, probability of extraction complications, and disability associated with each complication, the strategy of extracting only pathologically involved impacted mandibular third molars is generally the risk-minimizing option. The sensitivity analysis identifies the severity of the outcome in the presence of pathology as a possible risk factor that requires further investigation.
%U