Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically begin to develop at age 10 and may surface through a person’s twenties.  Commonly, a wisdom tooth may fail to emerge fully into position.  When this happens, the wisdom tooth is said to be impacted.  Roughly seventy percent of adults will experience at least one impacted wisdom tooth during their lifetime.

A wisdom tooth may become impacted for a number of reasons.  The primary reason is that there is simply not enough room in a person’s jaw to accommodate another molar.  In some cases, a wisdom tooth is obstructed from fully emerging by other teeth, or because the wisdom tooth comes in at an angle.  In all of these cases, the wisdom tooth must be removed.

There are a number of reasons to have an impacted wisdom tooth removed.  The impacted tooth may cause surrounding teeth to shift position, may cause an interruption in sinus function, or it may just cause jaw pain.  In many cases, an impacted or un-emerged wisdom tooth may be positioned in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to thoroughly clean, which could lead to decay, infections, and cavities.

Removal of impacted or un-erupted wisdom teeth is often more complex than a regular tooth extraction; in fact, it usually requires a surgical procedure for which most patients prefer to be sedated or under general anesthesia.  While some general dentists have the advanced training necessary to perform an impacted wisdom tooth extraction, in most cases the patient will need to visit an oral surgeon.

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Solana Beach Smiles
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5 out of 5 stars

Jack Rentz
Jack Rentz

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Dr. Patel and the Solana Beach Smiles staff are top notch! I have been going to Dr. Patel for the past few years and would recommend anyone in need of a new dentist to come here. She is very skilled, knowledgeable, and takes the time to explain her recommendations to you. You are in good hands with Dr. Patel!

Gail
Gail

5 out of 5 stars

posted 8 months ago

I was visiting CA when I cracked a molar. Dr Jesse was able to get me in on short notice. His staff are so friendly and he and his staff are also very honest. My situation was a challenge which he met going above and beyond. I was so grateful to my daughter for recommending him!

Nathaniel Root
Nathaniel Root

5 out of 5 stars

posted 7 months ago

The staff at Solana Beach Smiles is always friendly and flexible with scheduling. Dr Patel is very personable and continuously checks-in on you during any procedure. Great place!