What is an impacted tooth ?

It is a tooth which is not able to fully erupt in the oral cavity in it’s normal functional location by its expected age of eruption , because it is blocked by overlying soft tissue or bone or another tooth.

What causes impacted tooth ?

  • Lack of space for the tooth to erupt
  • Hereditary linked disorders like Down’s syndrome.
  • Retained deciduous/milk tooth
  • Associated soft tissue or bony lesion e.g. cyst , tumour etc.

Indication for removal

  • Swelling, pain, infection.
  • Carious exposure
  • Harming the adjacent tooth
  • Prior to orthodontic treatment
  • Prevention or management of cyst / tumour
  • Prevention of pathologic fractures .

Detection of impacted tooth

Your dentist will examine the area / tooth and would take a X-ray for examination, the dentist may suggest you for a CBCT or OPG to determine the tooth position, root structure and the structure lying around the tooth .

Most commonly impacted tooth

Most commonly impacted tooth include maxillary and mandibular 3rd molar , and then maxillary canine .

Treatment

The treatment for impacted tooth is surgical extraction

A dentist or an oral surgeon performs the surgery under local anesthesia and may put sutures when required.

The severity or difficulty of extraction depends on

  • how deep the tooth is buried inside the bone
  • the direction in which the tooth is lying
  • Root structure
  • Proximity to the nerve .

Is the treatment necessary

Your doctor would suggest you for extraction if the tooth is causing issues, otherwise the dentist might suggest you to leave it as it is. But regular monitoring is required for any potential dental problems.

Risk

  • Damage to adjacent nerve
  • Muscle tear
  • Trismus / lock jaw
  • Dry socket