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To measure the prevalence of disease of mandibular third molars referred for removal and to estimate the risk for development of pathoses for two cues.A prospective cohort study on molars subjected to removal was performed. The prevalence of different diseases and the patient's age, angular position, and degree of impaction of the molars were registered. Odds ratio for molars with different positions and impaction states were estimated.Pericoronitis was found in 64% of cases, caries in the third molar in 31%, periodontitis in association with 8%, caries in the second molar in 5%, and root resorption of the second molar with 1% of the molars with pathoses. Odds ratio was highest for distoangular molars (5.8) and for molars partially covered by soft tissue (6.7).The odds ratio is about 22 and 34 times higher for molars partially covered by soft tissue than for molars completely covered by soft or bone tissue. For distoangular molars the odds ratio is 5 to 12 times higher than for molars in other positions.