Impacted Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Patients often have the misconception that their wisdom teeth must be removed, but this is not always the case. In some cases, the wisdom teeth do not cause any issues and they can safely remain in the mouth.

When the wisdom teeth are impacted, they may not cause any issues or negatively affect the adjacent teeth. In this case, the teeth do not require removal. The dentist will likely monitor the teeth to ensure they do not require removal in the future. Impacted wisdom teeth which are causing issues, should be removed in a timely manner.

An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when the mouth does not have enough room to accommodate the tooth or when the tooth grows in at the wrong angle. The following article will highlight common symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth. The article will also review when the teeth should be removed and answer other common questions. Impacted wisdom teeth which do not cause any symptoms or issues can typically remain in the patient’s mouth without any issues, therefore avoiding extraction.

During the evaluation of an impacted tooth, the dentist must also consider how the other teeth will develop and erupt. The third molars or wisdom teeth commonly erupt during the late teenage years and early twenties. As the teeth’s roots are still developing and the mouth is not fully mature, some experts debate if the term “impacted” should be used. While the teeth are still erupting, they likely have not yet reached their final position.

When there are no symptoms or issues associated with the impacted wisdom teeth, they are often detected through obtaining dental x-rays. Common symptoms associated with the condition include the following:

  • Jaw and gum swelling
  • Discomfort and pain in the mouth
  • Gums which bleed
  • Foul taste in the mouth and bad breath
  • Periodic issues with opening the mouth

When the patient has any of the symptoms listed above, dentists often recommend proceeding with extracting the impacted teeth. There are six different ways in which the wisdom teeth can be impacted. The types of impaction include:

  • Mesial impaction: The most common type of impaction which occurs when the affected tooth is at an angle toward the front of the mouth
  • Vertical impaction: The teeth erupt straight, however there is not enough room in the mouth to accomodate the teeth
  • Horizontal impaction: This impaction occurs when the teeth are horizontal or lay on their side
  • Distal impaction: This type of impaction is less common and results in the teeth tilting towards the back of the mouth
  • Soft tissue impaction: Occurs when the teeth erupt through the gum
  • Bony impaction: The teeth are still embedded in the bone, but have emerged through the gum

There are various issues associated with impacted wisdom teeth. The condition can also result in serious pain and discomfort. Common issues associated with the issue can include damage to the adjacent teeth, discomfort, infection, decay, and cysts. Patients who suspect they have impacted wisdom teeth should follow up with their dentist right away. The dentist can perform an examination and obtain x-rays. This aids in determining if the teeth require removal. The presence of symptoms often suggests that the teeth should be extracted. When impacted wisdom teeth are not associated with any symptoms and do not impact the other teeth, they can safely remain in the mouth.

Is My Tooth Impacted