What are the most common teeth to become impacted?

impacted tooth CharlottesvilleAn impacted tooth increases a patient’s risk for common oral health conditions and can negatively affect oral function. The most typical tooth to become impacted is a wisdom tooth. Since these teeth are unnecessary to oral function, they are often removed by an oral surgeon.

A maxillary canine is the second most common type of impacted tooth. These teeth are vital to oral function so dental health providers try to encourage their proper eruption through orthodontic treatments and the removal of baby teeth.

Why do wisdom teeth become impacted?

Wisdom teeth become impacted because they arrive much later in life than other permanent teeth. Before access to modern dentistry was widespread, the arrival of wisdom teeth wasn’t as problematic. This is because people of the past typically lost several teeth by the time wisdom teeth arrived. Since modern adults keep their teeth much longer, there is little room for wisdom teeth to emerge through the gums.

The location of wisdom teeth also contributes to their tendency to become impacted. Located at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth easily become stuck sideways in the bone.

Why should wisdom teeth be removed?

Most oral health providers recommend the removal of wisdom teeth because retaining them contributes to a number of problems. Impacted wisdom teeth easily become infected, which if left untreated, can lead to painful infections called abscesses. Since wisdom teeth are almost impossible to keep clean, they tend to develop tartar accumulation. Tartar accumulation contributes to gum disease, a serious oral health condition that causes widespread infections, tooth loss, and bone deterioration.

Will I be comfortable during wisdom tooth extraction?

A wisdom tooth extraction is a procedure that surgically removes third molars. Performed by an oral surgeon, this procedure can prevent a number of oral health complications associated with the retention of wisdom teeth. Patients undergoing wisdom teeth extractions can opt for IV medications during their procedure to maintain comfort. Our practice takes great care to ensure that our guests have relaxing and positive experiences.

If you have an impacted tooth, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a consultation.