INTRODUCTION: A major concern of patients who need surgery for impacted third molars is the occurrence of pain and swelling. The
damage done during the incision and retraction of soft tissue to expose the impacted teeth, contribute to the above-mentioned. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The study was done to prove a hypothesis that an alternative surgical flap (ASF) is effective in limiting pain and swelling when compared to the standard reverse L-flap (RL F). METHOD: A prospective randomized cross-over study was done,
which included 33 healthy patients. Patients with mirror-image impacted mandibular third molars were selected. Evaluation of pain and swelling was done by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), implemented
for the first seven days after surgery.
RESULTS: The results indicated on average that patients experience less pain with the ASF, although this was not statistically significant. The patients also indicated that they experienced a significant
reduction (p < 0.05) in swelling for days one through three, compared to the RL F.
CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesis that the ASF will result in less swelling, has been proven. It is therefore recommended that surgeons use this flap method for removal of impacted third molars to enhance
post-operative patient comfort.