I have a dentistry student who writes things like: "the need for molars removal" and "molar removal treatment" which sounds off to me. I prefer to say (write) "the need to remove molars" and "treatment involving removal of molars", which sound more 'direct' to me.

Yet, I am struggling to explain why my version is more direct.

I'd be most obliged for any pointers...

Thank you!

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? Attributive nouns vs. of-genitive (related; this hinges on formality and idiomaticity rather than grammar). Here, your "the need to remove molars" sounds far more idiomatic. But "molar removal treatment" is far more punchy (and direct). Sep 4 '20 at 16:41
  • 2
    I'll add that the singular-form attributive, the need for molar removal, is probably as natural sounding as your variant. Sep 4 '20 at 16:48
  • 1
    I think "extraction" rather than "removal" is far more idiomatic in US dental jargon.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 4 '20 at 21:10

You are right. "the need for molar removal" sounds wrong, especially as 'molar's a different specialist meaning chemistry and chemical engineering. "The need to remove a molar" or "extract a molar" is concise and precise

  • OP is asking in relation to works on dentistry. And the first 30 Google hits I found for "molar removal" speak of the relevant teeth. Sep 4 '20 at 18:43

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