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Dental Impaction and Extraction

Impaction, in dentistry, refers to the failure of a tooth to erupt into the oral cavity within the normal time frame and/or direction. This may occur for a number of reasons. The most common form of dental impaction occurs with the third molars, or the wisdom teeth.

Normally, there are four wisdom teeth in the permanent dentition, one in each quadrant or two in each dental arch. These are located in the far backside of the oral cavity and may erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Because they are the last to erupt in an already crowded arch, they are most likely to be impacted, therefore the extraction of these teeth is one of the most common procedures in oral surgery worldwide. Unerupted third molars, still present beneath the gums can be diagnosed with the help of radiographs. Dentists refer these teeth for extraction due to risk of pericoronitis, caries, damage to second molars, dental crowding and development of cysts.

Common symptoms of third molar impaction include:

  • Inflammation of gums surrounding/covering the wisdom teeth
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Bad breath (Halitosis), and a bad taste in the mouth
  • Bleeding of gums
  • Inability to chew food from the affected side

It is possible for third molars to be congenitally absent in some cases. However, when impacted and most certainly posing a risk of damage to the adjacent tooth, they must be removed from the oral cavity via extraction. Partially erupted teeth can often be removed with simple extraction; however, the removal of impacted un-erupted third molars requires surgical extraction.
In either case, we make sure our patients are comfortable and the procedure is entirely pain-free.

If you have been experiencing symptoms that may indicate a third molar impaction, book an appointment with our team of experts today!