It’s rare for wisdom teeth to develop without causing problems. Some people develop wisdom teeth without realizing it, while others experience pain in the back of the mouth or visibly see the tooth poking through the gums. An impacted wisdom tooth is one that is trapped beneath the gums, and they grow at an angle toward the other teeth. If you see the crown of a wisdom tooth in the back of your mouth, feel pain or pressure, or have difficulty fully opening your mouth, you may have an impacted wisdom tooth.
Impacted teeth are difficult to clean around, leaving you prone to infections, tooth decay, and other complications. They can lead to gum disease, which threatens the health of nearby teeth. Wisdom tooth removal is necessary to prevent these dental problems and more from having the chance to arise.
When a tooth is blocked from fully erupting in the dental arch, it is considered to be impacted. Wisdom teeth are large and have unpredictable roots. Some patients develop wisdom teeth and never experience any problems, although this is very rare. The average mouth can only hold 28 teeth, so an additional set of molars trying to squeeze in causes problems.
As a wisdom tooth develops, it tries to break through the gums and can push other teeth out of position. In doing so, it develops at an angle and only a part of the wisdom tooth’s crown erupts through the gum tissue. Impacted teeth can cause damage to other teeth, their roots, or facial nerves.
It’s important to attend regular dental visits with your dentist because they take X-rays of your teeth. When wisdom teeth begin to develop, your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon when it’s time to have them removed.
At 7x7 Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Specialists, we use advanced 3D scanning technology to get a detailed digital image of your teeth and face. When you come in for an evaluation of your wisdom teeth, we will take a scan to view the exact size and location of wisdom teeth. Using the scan and an oral examination, we will be able to tell which wisdom teeth are trapped beneath the gums.
Once detected, we will schedule an appointment to have your wisdom teeth removed. The removal of wisdom teeth is similar to a regular tooth extraction in that we administer the anesthesia of your choice and remove the tooth by making a small incision in the gum tissue, if necessary. A partially impacted wisdom tooth may need to be broken into smaller pieces for easier extraction.
If you or your child need to have wisdom teeth removed, or if you would like to find out more about your oral surgery options, please contact us. We have three convenient practice locations to serve you in San Francisco, CA—choose from our West Portal office (on W. Portal Avenue), our Stonestown office (on Buckingham Way), or our Van Ness office (on Daniel Burnham Court).