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

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Very friendly and professional - We had a very good experience

- Donna V

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An excellent experience.

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Fabulous service, care and courtesy. I highly recommend. Thank you.

- Heidi M

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I put off my wisdom teeth surgery for seven years due to extreme anxiety. When they inevitably had to come out, I ended up having an amazing experience with Cortland Oral Surgery! The staff were all very friendly and helpful, and Dr. SanGiacomo has a sense of humor and a way with patients that really makes you feel at ease. I waited no more than a few minutes between checking in and getting into the chair. My IV was placed, and the next thing I remember, the whole procedure was over. My recovery has been a breeze so far and I had very little bleeding or pain. I would definitely recommend this office to anyone seeking oral surgical care.

- Elizabeth C

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Fast easy and painless for the first time ever at a dentist

- Nicholas W

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I would definitely recommend this office to anyone who will listen. Words that I never thought I would say ..., I love this dentist and staff.

- Nadine R

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I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. SanGiacomo. It is never pleasant to have dental procedures, but Dr. SanGiacomo and his staff did their best to alleviate my anxiety. What I thought would be a painful procedure was actually almost pain free. Thanks to everyone in the office...I appreciate your courtesy and professionalism.

- Christine G

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I would highly recommend this office to anyone in need of oral surgery. They are very professional and good at what they do.

- Matthew K

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This dentist is absolutley amazing. The staff we great. They all left a great lasting impression. My 15 year old daughter loved them too.

- Christy R

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The relaxing atmosphere with friendly people here made getting my tooth pulled an easy experience. I went home with all the info I needed, and by the morning I wouldn't have known it was pulled. Thank you!

- Amanda L

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Very smooth operation. Staff was attentive and thorough. Noone likes Oral Surgery, but overall it was a great experience!

- Blake D

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my daughter was very nervous about getting her wisdom teeth out. she ended up having a great experience

- melony s

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I have to say you all are so wonderful! Your kindness was above anything I expected. I need to thank Dr. SanGiacomo for taking me on as a patient. He was wonderful at explaining everything and he was gentle extracting the tooth. I love the nice little book of instruction he gave me. All I can say if anyone who has a tooth extracted and they read the book and do what it says you will have no problem. I have no pain medication to take and I have had no pain or swelling. Thank you Dr. SanGiacomo and staff for the wonderful care you gave me!

- Rose F

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I was very nervous about having all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted. I definitely thought the worst. The procedure was quick and comfortable. My daughter will need her wisdoms out soon and we will be coming back.

- Romney B

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Literally the most supportive team I have ever had work on my teeth. From Dr. SanGiacomo to the receptionist, they treated me with the highest level of expertise and kindness. I was scared because it was a large wisdom tooth, but 14 hours after surgery and I am feeling very little pain.

- Edith G

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Very friendly and caring. Made me feel very comfortable.

- Karlene S

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Fastest and painless

- Willy A

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Highly recommended!

- D F

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Excellent dentist with good bedside manner. His humor and joking helped ease my anxiety about the procedure.

- Loralee P

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Although I had a difficult tooth to extract, doctor handled the situation well. No problems or pain after “sleeping on it”.

- Diane N

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