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 410 reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. SanGiacomo and his aide, Stephanie, showed me the X-ray of the tooth to be extracted, and Dr. SanGiacomo described what to expect during the procedure, which went smoothly. By the time I was ready to leave, the office staff (I'm sorry - I don't remember the individuals' names) had already submitted the bill for the procedure to my insurance company (so that I did not need to do so), and they had already sent antibiotic and pain-relief prescriptions to my pharmacy. Speaking of pain - I experienced hardly any. Before going to sleep, I took an Ibuprofen as a precaution. I slept well. I appreciate the personable and professional work of Dr. SanGiacomo and his staff. Sincerely, John S.

- John S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Difficult extraction but handled with expertise.

- Andrew H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Very satisfied. Everybody was very courteous and professional. Would return again if needed.

- Russell M

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was so nervous during the whole procedure Dr SanGiacomo and his other staff member who was in the room with me made me feel comfortable they talked to me thru out the whole process and made me feel safe. The whole team was very friendly. Thank you so much.

- A G

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Everyone in the office was very friendly and I felt "at home" right away, although I had come into the office feeling very nervous. I am thankful that I had such a good experience.

- Sue C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Great experience.

- Patricia J

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Super polite staff - sanGiacomo was brilliant; kept me informed for the entire 50 min surgery; keep tabs on if I was feeling any pain/discomfort; explained what my options were thoroughly, even when things took a turn. Everyone in the practice seems to be knowledgable, courteous, and efficient. Can't better than that.

- Caryln B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The experience has seemed mainly fine, so far (the surgery is for my children, not me). My only concern is that when we arrived for pre-op consultation - and my son apparently had gum in his mouth at time of visit - the doc took the gum out and stuck it on my son's hand, rather than simply asking him to spit his gum out. I tried to find the humor in it, but it was really more unprofessional than humorous. Otherwise, lovely office, and I have confidence in the doctor's expertise as well as the staff's.

- jane c

4 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Staff and Dr Sangiacomo are great! Took great care of me with me wisdom teeth extractions....highly recommend to anyone in need of oral surgery!

- Jacob H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The Dr. and staff were very friendly and professional, even when my tooth gave them a rough time coming out.

- Bruce W

4 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. SanGiacomo and staff were really great and made this procedure much less scary and painful than I expected. Aftercare instructions booklet is actually helpful- clear, thorough, and well-written. So far healing well with no swelling and little to no pain. Thank you!

- Jen D

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Every part of the experience was phenomenal! I can't speak highly enough about the doctor and the entire staff. Highly recommended!

- Travis C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I am getting a tooth implant. I had a tooth pulled and bone grafting. It didn't take much time and was practically pain free. Everything was explained as we went along. So happy to have found this team.

- Charlene G

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was very nervous. This was my first surgery (wisdom teeth extractions) I’ve ever had and was going to have anesthesia. Both the staff and Dr. SanGiacomo made my whole experience very comfortable and very relaxed. Everything went well with my surgery and has been going well with the recovery. I highly recommend Cortland Oral Surgery and Dr. SanGiacomo.

- Skylar C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Didn't feel a thing! THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT WORK!

- Tim B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

It was good to not have any wait at all. All the staff were pleasant and explained the procedures and after care well.

- Olivia B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was very pleased with the doctor and his staff.

- Robert H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Very friendly and personable people. They fit me into their busy schedule because I was having a problem... which was GREAT to get my problem tooth taken care of so I could start the healing process. THANK YOU very much!!

- Melinda C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Very pleased with the scheduling and onlinepaper work during covid, the Doctor was thorough and made sure I didn't feel any pain or unecessary discomfort. He also let me do a follow up to put me at ease as I still was sore and had slight bleeding after a few days. I would highly recommend for anyone in need of a extraction.

- Tyler c

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Tooth extraction never fun, but Dr.was polite, efficient and knew what he was doing unlike past experiences with other “professionals “.would return for sure.

- Leaf c

5 out of 5 stars on