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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A very positive appointment from the office receptionist through the procedure to check out. Will definitely recommend Dr. SanGiacomo.

- Barry B

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It’s obvious that you and your entire staff treat your patients the same way you would like to be treated if you were the patient. Thank you.

- Thomas J

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I could not be more satisfied. I needed two extractions but since it was my first experience I only scheduled for one. It went so smoothly with the doctor explaining everything I could expect. My confidence in the team was such that I went ahead and let them pull the second tooth. ( Which he did without hesitation ) My anxiety was fairly high and the team was very reassuring. Tooth extractions is not something I wish to do again, but if faced with need, I would definitely choose them. A huge thank you to the entre team. You made a very intimating experience much easier and you have definitely put the smile back on my face. Thank you. You rock!

- Lori C

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They did a very good job, I was very impressed. They got me in and out quickly, and they asked multiple times throughout my surgery if I was okay and how I was feeling.

- Leslie W

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Fast, efficient, personable, and reasonable fees. What more do you need?!

- Danial H

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Had a broken tooth and they got me right in, staff was very friendly and professional. Doctor Sangiacomo is a fantastic Dentist.

- Steve R

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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

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Difficult extraction but handled with expertise.

- Andrew H

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

- Russell M

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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

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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

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Great experience.

- Patricia J

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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

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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

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

- Bruce W

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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

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

- Travis C

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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

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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

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

- Tim B

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