What Does an Impacted Tooth Mean and What You Can Do About It

what does an impacted tooth mean

You might be visiting this site because you or your child has been experiencing tooth or jaw pain. Maybe you are apprehensive about the effects of impacted teeth on dental health or worry that the treatment for impacted teeth will be painful or expensive. Maybe you have questions like “What does an impacted tooth mean?” Get reassurance and information about tooth extraction in Tampa by Westchase Smiles Institute.

Typical Tooth Development

The jaw grows considerably from birth to adulthood, leaving more space for teeth along the way. The typical 32 permanent teeth gradually replace the primary teeth from age 6 to age 13 for most teeth, followed by the emergence of wisdom teeth (or third) between ages 17 and 21. The gradual emergence of teeth gives the jaw time to grow.

The emergence of new teeth can cause jaw and gum pain even with normal tooth development. Sometimes a tooth only comes in halfway (partial eruption). An impacted tooth does not necessarily have to cause pain to pose a risk, so be sure to get regular checkups and x-rays. Your dentist can determine whether the tooth poses a risk to your oral health.

Impacted Teeth

Many people, when they reach adulthood, do not have jaws that are large enough for 32 teeth. As a result, the wisdom teeth may become impacted. This means that the tooth does not emerge completely from the gumline. Instead, they may become misaligned, turn sideways, and press against adjacent teeth.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 90% of people have one or more impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted teeth can cause many problems, such as cyst formation, even if they are not currently causing pain. The majority of people have one or more of their wisdom teeth removed at some point in their lives. Consult this fact sheet for more advice from the American Dental Association.

Other Impacted Teeth

Other teeth besides wisdom teeth can become impacted, particularly in children with small jaws. Extraction or other treatment of impacted teeth is important so that they do not interfere with the emergence of other teeth or cause problems with gum tissue or bone. If teeth fail to come in properly in childhood, they might remain under the gumline, causing problems for your teeth and jaw.

What to Do About Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth can be asymptomatic if the tooth remains where it is without causing pain or damaging adjacent teeth. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you seek additional treatment for an impacted tooth if you experience any of the following symptoms:

●      Gum inflammation near the impacted tooth

●      Pain in the impacted tooth or nearby teeth

●      Difficulty cleaning partially erupted teeth

●      Evidence of bacterial infection such as a bad taste or odor

●      A severe infection could cause fever or problems opening the mouth or swallowing

If you or your child experience severe symptoms, don’t wait to get treatment. Find a dentist who offers dental emergency services, such as the Westchase Smiles Institute. An experienced dentist can treat the immediate problems, extract the impacted tooth, and perform reconstructive procedures as necessary.

If the impacted wisdom tooth has pushed other teeth out of alignment, your dentist might recommend orthodontic treatment to correct the misalignment. Conventional braces and newer treatments such as Invisalign gently move the teeth back into alignment and prevent future problems with the teeth, gums, and jaw. 

Oral surgeons typically carry out extractions of impacted teeth. Depending on the circumstances, you might choose to have sedation during the extraction, but a numbing agent like Novocain often is enough to prevent pain during the procedure.

It will take a while for the numbness to subside after tooth extraction, and you might have limitations on activities such as drinking with a straw or eating hot foods while the tooth socket heals.

Treatment for Impacted Teeth at the Westchase Smiles Institute

The Westchase Smiles Institute has helped patients of all ages in the Tampa, FL, area manage the symptoms of impacted teeth and protect their dental health. Dr. Cesar Chilmaza’s warmth and friendly demeanor reassure our patients. We look forward to welcoming you as a patient. Discover the benefits of tooth extraction in Tampa by Westchase Smiles Institute.

At the Westchase Smiles Institute, we take a compassionate but diligent approach to treating impacted teeth. Before we discuss treatment options, we take a close look at your dental history and records, including your x-rays. We listen carefully to your account of your symptoms and work with you to identify the options that work best for you.

We won’t push you to get any treatment you don’t want or limit your options. We take the time to answer your questions. Instead of asking, “What does an impacted tooth mean?” we ask, “What does your impacted tooth mean?” How does it affect your life, and what do our treatments offer for you? You will have time to consider whether to use sedation if you decide to pursue surgery.

We’ll do everything we can to reduce any anxiety you might have, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. During the recovery period, we’ll be just a phone call away if you have any problems.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

What does an impacted tooth mean? Now that you have more answers, you might still have questions about what to do next. Don’t hesitate to ask us at Westchase Smiles Institute. Learn whether your teeth will shift after extraction and what to expect during your recovery. Call (813) 920-9144 today or use the contact form on our website to schedule your first visit.

If you prefer to speak to a team member please call (813) 920-9144

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Rachel Manzanares
Rachel Manzanares
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My father was in town for my sister's wedding and had one of his front fillings come out two days before the wedding. Dr. Cesar Chilmaza was able to get him last minute and did an amazing job. My father said that he did a better job fixing it than the original filling! Not only did he do a great job, he and his staff we so friendly and knowledgeable and did everything in their power to help take care of him. Thanks to Dr. Cesar my sister's wedding photos won't be a disaster!
Sheryl Hoffman
Sheryl Hoffman
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Cesar is amazingly kind and patient with my endless questions. I'm ridiculously terrified of the dentist and they somehow understand my fears while gently coaxing me to follow the treatment plan they recommend. They're also open evenings for those of us still working. Simply put, they're quite delightful!
Blakley Ann
Blakley Ann
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I highly recommend Westchase Smiles Institute. Dr. C is an amazing dentist who cares about his patients. The staff is welcoming and treats you like family.