Impaction is the situation where the majority of a tooth (semi- impacted) or all of the tooth remains embedded in the bone.
Impaction most commonly appears in wisdom teeth, canines and more rarely in premolars.
Wisdom Tooth – a nickname of the third molar.
These are the last teeth that usually come into the mouth at the age of 19-21.
They are among the strongest teeth since they seem to have all odd shapes and erupt in the most unusual positions.
Sometimes wisdom teeth are malformed and sometimes they are missing.
Impaction is most commonly seen in the Mandibular third molars (the most posterior tooth in the lower jaw) than in Maxilla (upper jaw)
Removal of an impacted tooth requires much effort than the normal tooth extraction and also requires much care after it.
Usually the dentist will ask for a panoramic Xray to identify the type, place and shape of the impacted tooth. In some cases that the tooth is located near the alveolar nerve he/she may require a 3D (three dimensional) type of Xray to preserve the nerve from an accidental damage. 3D will also be necessary in cases of impacted canines to locate the exact place of the tooth in the palate.
Extraction of impacted teeth need removal of bone around the tooth. This will cause swelling of the cheek for three to four days and also antibiotic coverage for at least 5 days. Pain killers are recommended every 6 to 8 hours.
Why we should extract impacted teeth
Impacted teeth may push the other teeth during eruption. So early extraction may prevent crooked teeth.
Also semi-impacted teeth may cause pericoronitis. This is a very uncomfortable situation when food is impacted in the gums around the tooth causing inflammation bleeding and pain. Swelling of the cheek may also appear and limitation of the mouth opening. In this case the patient will need antibiotics.