Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Any tooth can be impacted, but the most commonly impacted tooth is one, or all, of the third row of molars known as the wisdom teeth. This is due to their late eruption and insufficient room. An impacted tooth can cause problems for your oral health. At Lincoln Center Smiles, we specialize in wisdom teeth extractions. It is our goal to prevent or alleviate potential problems.
In a non-medical definition, the term “impacted'' is defined as something having grandiose planning that has deleterious effects. This is not terribly different from the medical definition. An impacted tooth is a tooth that is unable to fully come into position. Impaction can vary greatly, from a tooth that is entirely twisted and unable to move at all, to a tooth that is mostly out but unable to fully erupt. Whatever the level of impaction, it can all have negative effects on your oral health.
Why is An Impacted Tooth Bad for My Oral Health?
Sometimes, a patient may express not wanting to fix something that is not broken. What they mean is because they are not feeling pain at that moment, they don’t understand why a tooth should be pulled. Having an impacted tooth can have some immediate and continuing long term problems that you may not be aware of. There can be several complications, including:
||Damage to Neighboring Teeth: Below the gums, your wisdom teeth can be fighting a battle for space. They can push neighboring teeth out of the way, adjusting your alignment and altering your bite. This battle may not even prove successful for the wisdom tooth, as it may become twisted or angled making it impossible for it to come into place even if it shoves other teeth.
||Decay Around the Teeth: Crowding issues and impaction can allow a breeding ground for bacteria. These issues can make proper brushing and flossing difficult, if not impossible. Whether spaces are too small, too difficult to reach, or creating bulky gum tissue hiding spots, you are much more likely to miss plaque and debris.
||Gum Disease: In addition to decay, gum disease is much more common around wisdom teeth. This is due to not being able to properly brush and floss around the tooth due to overcrowding and impaction. Gum disease will not clear up on its own, and it can cause destruction to your supportive soft tissue and your hard bone tissue beneath.
Soft Tissue Impaction and Bone Impaction
“Impaction” is the term meaning the tooth is unable to fully ascend. This can be due to a soft tissue impaction, which means the wisdom tooth is partially or completely covered by the gum tissue. It can also be due to a bone impaction, which occurs when a portion of the tooth remains stuck in the jawbone, even though some of the crowns may be showing through the gums.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
The extraction of impacted wisdom teeth is often a surgical extraction. This means that cuts to the gum tissue are needed to gain access to the tooth. Your surgical extraction begins with taking steps to ensure your comfort. We often begin with a local anesthetic followed by one of many conscious sedation options available.
Once prepared, we can begin the extraction procedure. For most patients, we typically make several small incisions in the gums to expose the teeth and supporting bone. The number of incisions we make depends on the number of wisdom teeth being removed and how much of the tooth is exposed.
When removing wisdom teeth, we often quarter the tooth, or break it into smaller pieces. This is because grasping the whole tooth can be difficult, and we don’t want the tooth to break in an uncontrolled manner during extraction. We may also need to remove a portion of the surrounding bone while extracting the tooth.
The area is then sutured and packed with gauze. This will help to reduce the amount of bleeding and expedite the healing process. We recommend arranging a ride home, especially if multiple wisdom teeth have been removed. Depending on the type of sedation you choose, it may be required.
Before you leave, Dr.Brian Saklofsky, DMD will give you a set of post-operative instructions. Be sure to follow our instructions closely to reduce your risk of postoperative complications. If you experience excessive swelling, bleeding, or pain after the first few days, we advise that you seek immediate medical treatment and then be sure to call us as soon as possible.
Schedule A Consultation Appointment
If you have impacted wisdom teeth, you may need multiple tooth extractions. Call (971) 317-9499 to schedule your consultation appointment today!