Impacted teeth can be uncomfortable, even painful! The teeth that most commonly become impacted are the wisdom teeth, the third set of molars in the back of your jaw. Teeth are deemed “impacted” when they don’t break through the gums, or they do so partially, but never fully emerge.
Why this happens varies from case to case. Some wisdom teeth don’t emerge because patients simply don’t have room for them in their mouths. Or sometimes teeth twist as they begin to develop, making it hard for them to push through the gums.
It’s a common problem, so what’s the best solution?
Signs and Symptoms
It’s easy for food and plaque to get trapped in the soft gum tissue above an impacted tooth. This can lead to infection and bad breath. Severe cases of impacted teeth can also result in pain when opening the mouth or biting down, headache or jaw ache and gum inflammation.
On the other hand, you may have impacted teeth and never know it. Some people never show any signs or symptoms and they’re able to maintain their dental health without an issue.
However, even if you don’t have symptoms now, you may later. If the impacted tooth is pushing against the neighboring tooth, the pressure has a long-term domino effect, displacing the rest of the teeth and eventually potentially leading to a bite misalignment.
Surgical Removal Is the Best Treatment
Most of the time, your dentist and oral surgeon recommend removing the impacted teeth before they start to cause problems with your oral health. In some cases, when impacted teeth are left in place, they can eventually produce cysts. You also want to avoid long-term bone or nerve damage. Taking the teeth out is the best way to prevent complications in the future.
How an Oral Surgeon Handles Your Case
General dentists can remove impacted teeth, but an oral surgeon’s expertise is preferable in many cases. Since oral surgeons spend years after dental school completing extra training, they see many more cases and have performed many more surgeries. They’re more equipped to handle difficulties and complications. And since they’re able to facilitate a smooth procedure, it translates to a smooth recovery for you as well.
Another detail that helps patients feel comfortable with an oral surgeon handling their case is the option of IV sedation. Surgeons are trained and certified to administer this type of anesthesia, which allows patients to reach a deeper level of sedation, wake up and not remember the procedure at all.
You Are in Good Hands
At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, your safety and comfort is our top priority. Removing impacted teeth might not be an experience you look forward to, but we work hard to make it as stress-free and painless as possible. Call today to learn more about our practice and schedule a consultation.