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An impacted tooth simply means that it is “stuck” and cannot erupt into function—which means are enclosed in soft tissue and fail to break through the gum. This can lead to bacteria entering the tooth and causing an infection. Treatment may require a referral to an emergency dental office, like Now Care Dental, where our skilled dentists can perform an extraction. The most common tooth to become impacted, is the wisdom tooth.
Do you have symptoms of an impacted tooth such as an impacted wisdom tooth? According to the Mayo Clinic, there may not always be symptoms. However, if impacted teeth become infected—other teeth can be damaged and you might experience these impacted wisdom teeth symptoms:
Patients frequently develop problems with impacted third molar (wisdom) teeth. These teeth get “stuck” in the back of the jaw and can develop painful infections among a host of other problems—click here to learn more about impacted wisdom teeth removal. Since there is rarely a functional need for wisdom teeth, impacted wisdom teeth are usually extracted if they develop problems.
The maxillary cuspid (upper eye tooth) is the second most common tooth to become impacted. The cuspid tooth is a critical tooth in the dental arch and plays an important role in your “bite.” They are designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaws close together so they guide the rest of the teeth into the proper bite.
Normally, the maxillary cuspid teeth are the last of the “front” teeth to erupt into place. They usually come into place around age 13 and cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tight together.
If a cuspid tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch. The older the patient, the more likely an impacted eye tooth will not erupt by nature’s forces alone even if the space is available for the tooth to fit in the dental arch.
Early identification of impacted eye teeth (or any other impacted tooth other than impacted wisdom teeth), treatment should be initiated at a younger age. Once your dentist identifies a potential eruption problem, you should be referred to the orthodontist or emergency dentist.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all dental patients at around the age of seven be examined in order to count the teeth and determine if there are problems with eruption of the adult teeth. If problems are identified, treatment may involve an orthodontist placing braces to open spaces to allow for proper eruption of the adult teeth.
If it’s determined you have impacted teeth requiring treatment, our emergency dentists will remove any extra teeth or growths that are blocking eruption of the adult teeth. If you are over age 40, it is likely the tooth will be fused in position. In these cases, the tooth will not budge. The only option is to extract the impacted tooth and consider an alternate treatment to replace it in the dental arch (crown on a dental implant or a fixed bridge).
If the eruption path is cleared and the space is opened up by age 11 or 12, there is a good chance the impacted eye tooth will erupt with nature’s help alone. If the eye tooth is allowed to develop too much (age 13-14), the impacted eye tooth will not erupt by itself even with the space cleared for its eruption.
In order to treat an impacted tooth, surgery can be performed to either expose and/or bracket the tooth—which can be done in the emergency dentist’s office using laughing gas and local anesthesia. In selected cases it will be performed under I.V. sedation if the patient desires to be asleep, but this is generally not necessary for this procedure.
Experiencing pain and other impacted tooth symptoms? Do you need treatment for impacted teeth like an impacted wisdom tooth? Call our Eagan-MN office at 651-686-6800 to set up an appointment—we can recommend the right course of action for you. Answering services are available 24/7. The Now Care Dental clinic is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.