Impacted teeth are unerupted teeth that remain below the surface of the gum and sometimes bone rather than erupting into an exposed position within the mouth. This typically occurs when an unerupted tooth is wedged against another tooth directed so that it cannot erupt normally by some obstruction. The teeth that most commonly become impacted are the wisdom teeth. They are the last to develop, beginning to form when a person is about nine years old, but not breaking through the gum tissue until the late teens or early twenties. By this time, the jaws have stopped growing and may be too small to accommodate these four additional teeth. As the wisdom teeth continue to move, one or more may become impacted, either by running into the teeth next to them or becoming blocked within the jawbone or gum tissue. An impacted tooth can cause further dental problems, including infection of the gums, displacement of other teeth, or decay. At least one wisdom tooth becomes impacted in nine out of every ten people in the US.
Impacted Canine Teeth
The most commonly impacted canine tooth is the maxillary canine. In order to remove an impacted canine, bone is removed from the crown of the impacted tooth. For some reason during tooth development, the direction of eruption of the maxillary canine becomes diverted toward the palate. Once this redirection of eruption occurs, although the tooth may erupt, it usually will be positioned in such a way that it creates a cross-bite. The area it is located in is isolated, which makes the extraction and the placement of an implant, if desired, a lot easier. Impaction of the mandibular canine is less common. In some situations, particularly during the development of adult teeth, the mandibular canine can become rotated and the root might develop horizontally, resulting in a typically front facing impacted tooth. In many of these cases it is a good idea to extract the canine and avoid damage to the roots of the incisors.
Impacted Maxillary Central Incisor
The second most common teeth to be impacted after your canines are the maxillary central incisors. This generally occurs in some people when a supernumerary or “spare” tooth is present (ex. a ‘baby’ tooth that never let go). In these cases the spare tooth effectively deflects the eruption trajectory of the maxillary central incisor or causes the roots to improperly form. The procedure for removal or recovery of a maxillary central incisor by Front Range Dental Center will depend very much on the unique conditions in your situation.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth occur when your “third molars” don’t have enough room on the jaw to form or erupt normally. Although some people never have any trouble with them, impacted wisdom teeth can cause some fairly serious problems. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in pain, damage to your other teeth, and gingivitis. Partially erupted or impacted teeth can also cause hygiene problems, because they’re hard to clean; they may be more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease than other teeth. Because they may damage other teeth, cause pain or infection, headaches, and bad breath, dentists and oral surgeons often recommend the removal of impacted wisdom teeth.
Call Front Range Dental Center in Fort Collins, Colorado today for more information or to schedule an appointment.