Yahoo News covered the story earlier this year. Dentist Jay Friedman says far too many third molars are extracted prophylactically. He got his ideas published in American Journal of Public Health way back in 2007. A snippet:
The British National Institute for Clinical Excellence is unequivocal in its recommendation, adopted by the National Health Service: “The practice of prophylactic removal of pathology-free impacted third molars should be discontinued. . . . There is no reliable evidence to support a health benefit to patients from the prophylactic removal of pathology-free impacted teeth.”9(p1–2)The conditions for which extraction is justified include nonrestorable dental caries, pulpal infection, cellulitis, recurrent pericoronitis, abscesses, cysts, and fractures.
Dr. Friedman says the risks of extraction outweigh the benefits in most cases.