Impacted Wisdom Teeth

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. They are usually the last teeth to develop and are located in the back of your mouth, behind your second molars. Their development is usually completed between the middle teenage years and early twenties, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and the attainment of wisdom.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

What Is An Impacted Tooth?

Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, many times their jaws are too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting they are called impacted. This indicates their inability to erupt into the proper position for chewing and cleaning.

A diagram half mouth X-ray with teeth impaction and half digital graphic highlighting impacted teeth

Types Of Impactions

We will need to see you for a consultation to determine if you will benefit from wisdom tooth removal. A special x-ray of your mouth and jaws (panorex) will be taken to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to erupt, and how difficult it will be to have them removed.

  • Soft Tissue Impaction: There is not enough room to allow the gum tissue to retract for adequate cleaning of the tooth.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: There is enough space to allow the wisdom tooth to partially erupt. However, the tooth cannot function properly in the chewing process, and creates cleaning problems, among others.
  • Complete Bony Impaction: There is NO space for the tooth to erupt. It remains embedded in the jaw bone or if even partially visible requires complex surgical techniques for removal.The impacted wisdom tooth may also be in an unusual position and difficult to remove. This situation can also arise when the shape or size of the jaw bone and other facial structures make removal of this tooth significantly more complex.
A representation of a wisdom tooth impacted by soft tissueSoft Tissue
An example of a wisdom tooth with a partial bony impactionPartial Bony
An illustration of a wisdom tooth completely impacted by boneComplete Bony

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I had my top 2 wisdom teeth removed as well as peices of tooth from failed root canals. The nurse was very nice and answered all the questions I had. The doctor has a great sense of humor! I would highly recommend their services.

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Unfortunately, ever since an auto accident in 1983, I've lost most of my teeth. So I've had many different oral surgeons extract teethover the years. Dr. SanGiacomo is the best of them all.

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Everything about the procedure was thoroughly explained, and although the entire in-office time wasn't extensive, there was no sense that people were rushing to get on to the next patient. I was given detailed after-care instruction that included an outline of potential problems and what to look for. The entire staff was friendly and professional, and made me feel welcome instead of just another transaction.

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Very pleased with the staff and Doctor's friendly and caring nature. I was ensured and comforted through out my procedure, as I was nervous. I heard that Dr. SanGiacomo was the best, it was absolutley true. I needed an infected tooth extracted, my appointment was with in a week from the time I had seen my dentist.

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