The wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to emerge from the jawbone and are found at the back of the dental ridges. Ideally, they erupt just like any other tooth in the mouth, sometime around the late teens or the early twenties. In rare scenarios, these teeth may get stuck in the jawbone while erupting out, leading to extreme pain and the risk of developing infections. Such an oral condition is called impacted wisdom teeth.
How do Wisdom Teeth Get Impacted?
The most common cause of impacted wisdom teeth is heredity. When an individual inherits the jawbone and socket size from one parent and the teeth' size from a different parent, the wisdom teeth may tend to get stuck in the jawbone while emerging. In some cases, the alignment of the teeth may also lead to impacted teeth. Sustaining injury to the jawbone can also cause impacted teeth.
What are the Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
- The region near the impacted tooth can develop an infection.
- Severe pain and discomfort near the infected tooth, especially when you bite or chew food, brush the teeth, clench the jaw, etc.
- Damage to the adjoining teeth if the tooth is inclined at an angle
- Damage to the surrounding jawbone
How is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth Treated?
The treatment of impacted teeth depends on the severity of impaction. The impaction can be angular, partial, horizontal, or vertical. It also depends on how much of the tooth has emerged out of the gums and whether or not it can be treated using medication. If the condition is minor, we will try to treat it using only medication and arrest the spread of the infection. If not, we will have to extract the entire tooth from the mouth.
We will take x-rays of the mouth to understand the severity of the condition and the positioning of the wisdom tooth. Based on the data obtained, we will draw out a suitable treatment plan. We will administer local anesthesia to the region near the impacted tooth so that you do not feel any pain during the process. We will make a small incision on the gums to expose the underlying impacted tooth. It will be gripped using dental forceps and removed in one firm motion. In case the tooth is stuck firmly in the socket or at an awkward angle, we will have to section it into smaller fragments and remove them individually. Once the surgery is complete, we will suture up the wound and suggest suitable medication to allow it to heal.
Our experienced team will help you regain your smile. Please reach out to us on call at (773) 445-1009 or by scheduling an online appointment, and we'll be happy to guide you further.