This review evaluates the evidence for the diagnostic efficacy of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for impacted teeth and associated features. PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library were searched using specific indexing terms and reference lists were hand searched. Two reviewers selected relevant publications on the basis of pre-determined inclusion criteria. Original studies were assessed using a modification of the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies (QUADAS) tool. The literature search yielded 96 titles, of which 7 were included in the review. There was only limited evidence for diagnostic efficacy expressed as sensitivity, specificity and predictive values. Only two studies compared CBCT and panoramic radiographs with a valid reference method and presented the results in terms of percentage of correct diagnoses. This review reveals a need for studies that meet methodological standards for diagnostic efficacy of CBCT in the diagnosis of impacted teeth.