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

Cortland Oral Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 102 reviews.

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Thank you for fitting me in when my dentist referred me. So, nice to be rid of the painful tooth. Even though you were running behind and clearly had, had a very long day everyone was caring and kind!

- Corena M

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Dr and Office staff were understanding , helpful, and made a unpleasant procedure as good as it could be!

- Susan M

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Care was excellent, procedure done very quickly and professionally. Both staff and Doctor were considerate and careful. I would recommend this office to anyone without reservation. Thanks for an excellent job and for being so amazingly kind as to accept my (low paying) insurance!

- Mary-Heather H

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Although I wish the tooth could have been saved, sadly it had to be pulled. I didn't feel any pain, and I'm healing well.

- JoAnne S

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Very pleased with the procedure and friendliness of everyone there.

- George C

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The staff and dr. were very professional and friendly. I would highly recommend this office. Thanks.

- Patricia E

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Pleasant experience considering! Thank you!

- Dean E

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He's a rock star!

- Sue H

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Clean office, pleasant people, very friendly

- Elva S

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My visit was pleasant even for a dentist. Everything went smoothly and in a timely fashion. I don't have dental insurance but they accommodated me and made it affordable.

- Winnie R

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Highly recommended

- Mary G

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Was very satisfied with information that was given to me and the kind and caring staff.

- Kathleen J

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This was my first visit to this oral surgery practice. I was impressed with both the Dr. and his assistant nurse. Both took great care to explain procedures and to make me comfortable. Hopefully I will not have to return, but if necessary I would not hesitate to have future procedures performed here. It is also a plus to have an oral surgeon close to home.

- Marilyn M

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This was my first visit to Dr. SanGiacomo's oral surgery practice. Doctor SanGiacomo and his entire staff were exceptionally friendly, informative, and professional. Both Dr. SanGiacomo and everyone on his staff made yesterday's surgery as enjoyable as it could possibly be. I enthusiastically recommend Cortland Oral Surgery to anyone who needs the services of a top-flight oral surgery practice.

- Robert K

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I was at ease as soon as I walked in the office. The staff was friendly and the doctor was great. Made me feel at ease. Very impressed!

- Patricia C

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I came to this office for a tooth extraction and placement of both a bone graft and membrane. The procedure went much quicker than I'd expected and was completely painless; I have not had any issues with pain/inflammation/infection after the procedure. Dr. SanGiacomo and the rest of the staff were very helpful and friendly during my visit.

- Rose W

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office was easy to get appointment. Everyone is very caring. This office is wonderful.

- Pamela A

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Although it was not a pleasant procedure, the staff and doctor made me as comfortable as possible and I was able to schedule an apt that worked for me and they were very prompt about timing, with very little wait time. Thank you for your excellent care!

- Michael T

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I highly recommend this office for any surgery. Great staff and great post care. They made me feel very comfortable for the actual surgery. Thanks again

- Tara S

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The staff is always very friendly. I always dread having any dental work done, but I must say I never worry when Dr. S is in charge.

- Cindy H

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