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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Good experience. Described what to expect during and after surgery. No complaints.

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My wisdom teeth surgery was very scary to begin with, but the nurses and doctor eased my mind the second I stepped in the room to have my procedure done. They were all absolutely amazing with everything. I would definitely recommend them to anyone else looking to get their wisdom teeth out.

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Having a tooth pulled is bad enough but I had just the root to be pulled.. little scary..ok alot scary but, this was the best experience ever...everyone was very nice.Thank you very much for having so much compassion.

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I had a wisdom tooth extracted, process was quick and easy for me. Staff was great and the process went well. Very satisfied with the care I received.

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The staff were are all extremely nice and helpful. Dr. SanGiacomo did great work and I would return in the future if I ever have a need. It was a pleasant experience for having a tooth pulled.

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Very professional, friendly staff and Dr. S makes conversation that helped make the process calm. You get an instruction booklet for after the process that is very helpful.

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