Impacted Tooth Treatment

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Impacted Tooth Treatment

An “impacted tooth” is a term used for teeth that cannot break open the gum. In some cases, a tooth could be partially impacted and already starting to erupt.

Impacted teeth usually do not have distinct symptoms and could be diagnosed after a routine x-ray check-up.

During infancy, teeth start to erupt. This phase repeats after the permanent teeth take their place. A tooth is considered impacted if it cannot erupt or is partially erupted. The condition is most commonly seen with wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt. They usually erupt between the ages of 18 to 20, yet it varies from person to person.

How Is an Impacted Tooth Identified?

A fully impacted tooth might show no symptoms and go unnoticed. The symptoms of a partially impacted tooth are as follows:

  • Foul breath,
  • Jaw pain over mouth opening
  • Sensitive gums,
  • persistent jaw pain and headache,
  • reddened and swollen gums,
  • unpleasant taste around the impacted tooth.

How Are Impacted Teeth Treated?

If an impacted tooth is not causing a problem, treatment might not be necessary. If the impacted tooth is in an optimal position, orthodontic braces might be recommended.

If an impacted tooth causes pain or any other problem, the dentist might recommend surgical extraction. If an impacted tooth causes pain to the neighboring teeth, extraction may be required.

Surgical tooth extraction is usually performed under local anesthesia and is an ambulatory treatment. The patient is discharged after the operation. The procedure takes approximately one hour, depending on the tooth’s condition. Recovery would take approximately ten days. However, patients can return to their normal lives a few days after the extraction.

Which teeth could be affected?

Impacted teeth are usually the last wisdom teeth to emerge.As the growth phase of the jaw comes to an end, wisdom teeth, also known as third molar teeth, erupt. Certain mouth and jaw structures might not be suited to them.

Generally, extracting wisdom teeth before the age of 20 instead of waiting gives better results because, by that age, tooth roots aren’t fully developed. In such cases, the extraction and healing processes are relatively easier.

Wisdom teeth are mostly not needed; therefore, when they cause a problem, they would be extracted. It is more likely for people with smaller jaws to have impacted teeth.