What are impacted teeth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that is blocked from breaking through the gum. Generally, a tooth can become impacted when your jaw doesn’t have enough space for all your teeth, or because a tooth wants to come in at the wrong angle and gets stopped by the tooth next to it. Sometimes a tooth may be only partially impacted, meaning it has started to break through but never fully emerges. Oftentimes, impacted teeth cause no obvious symptoms and are only discovered during a routine dental X-ray or orthodontic screening.

An impacted tooth may cause:

  • pain when opening your mouth
  • pain when chewing and biting
  • red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • bad breath
  • a bad taste in your mouth
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Complications of impacted teeth

Fully impacted teeth never break through the gums, leaving you unable to clean or care for them. If your tooth or teeth are partially impacted, they’ll be more difficult to clean properly. The risk for dental problems from neglecting treatment of impacted or partially impacted teeth can include:

  • cavities
  • decay
  • infection
  • crowding of nearby teeth
  • cysts, which can damage roots of nearby teeth or destroy bone
  • absorption of bone or adjacent teeth
  • gum disease

Which teeth are most often impacted?

Wisdom teeth, which are usually the last teeth to come in typically between the ages of 17 to 25 are the most typical teeth to become impacted. When wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to emerge or develop normally, meaning coming in straight with room to spare, they can become impacted or trapped underneath neighboring teeth. This results in pain, infection and potential damage to other teeth.

Canines, also known as the cuspid or upper eye-teeth, are the second most common teeth to struggle to emerge and become impacted. The canines which are in the front of your mouth play a more important role structurally, functionally and aesthetically than wisdom teeth. Your dentist, orthodontist and oral surgeon will most likely recommend treating the canines to allow them to erupt as opposed to removing them which would be recommended for wisdom teeth. Learn more about surgical exposure of canines.

How are impacted teeth treated?

If you suspect you have an impacted tooth or you have been referred to an oral surgeon by your dentist, call us at 845-592-2292 immediately to schedule your FREE consultation. If your dentist has not yet determined whether you have an impacted tooth by x-ray and exam, our specialists will examine your teeth and take an X-ray of your mouth to determine if an impacted tooth is causing your symptoms. We will discuss the benefits and risks of treatment for your unique circumstances.

Treatment options may include:

  1. Monitor If your impacted tooth or teeth aren’t causing any symptoms, we may suggest holding off while keeping our trained eyes on you or your child. With this approach, instead of surgically removing the tooth or teeth, we will monitor your situation to stay ahead of any problems that may develop.
  2. Extraction of Impacted Teeth If you’re experiencing pain and other unpleasant side effects from an impacted tooth, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend surgical extraction, particularly in the case of impacted wisdom teeth. They may also recommend extraction if the impacted tooth will compromise other teeth. In most cases, Dr. Guglielmi will extract the impacted wisdom teeth in the office under sedation. The procedure takes about an hour. You or your child will be sent home with instructions on how to care for the area to make a full and fast recovery.
  3. Surgical Exposure of Impacted Teeth involves surgically uncovering the impacted tooth. A window of tissue and bone is removed from around the tooth leaving it exposed. A sterile dressing or “pack” is put in place to protect the exposed area. The dressing is removed approximately 10 days later. Without doing this, the tooth is unlikely to erupt. Exposing the impacted tooth surgically gives access to the tooth to allow for natural eruption of the tooth or having an orthodontic attachment placed to enable the tooth to be moved, above the gum, into its correct position in line with the rest of the teeth.
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Surgical exposure of impacted canines

Surgical exposure of impacted canines, or “eyeteeth” are a commonly encountered clinical problem that primarily affects children and adolescents. Sunshine Smiles doesn’t take surgical procedures on pediatric patients lightly. Our team of specialists have the experience, expertise and technology to make treatment as uncomplicated and painless as possible. Considering the patient at all times, the technique to expose those stubborn yet crucial to mouth structure and aesthetics canines is determined by the expertise of the orthodontist, surgeon, dentist and parents together. The best outcome and level of treatment burden to the patient of any age, are always weighed out fully and with the highest regard at Sunshine Smiles.
 
A FREE consultation with our dental specialists will allow for an exam and x-ray to determine the safest, smartest and most comfortable course of treatment. The Sunshine Smiles team of dental specialists work together to bring you the best minds, hands and hearts to treat you and your family’s oral surgery needs. Call us at 845-592-2292 to schedule your consultation or oral surgery procedure if you’ve been referred for oral surgery by your dentist or doctor.

Book your consultation today

Sunshine Smiles is here to support your family’s dental, orthodontic, cosmetic, restorative and oral surgery needs. We stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the art and science of a beautiful smile through technology, experience and passion for what we do. 

It starts with booking an appointment for you or your child now. Call us directly at 845-592-2292 or fill out our contact form, and we will call you directly during business hours. We will answer any questions you have, get your insurance verified if you have it and get you or your child on the path to health and smiling big!

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