Impacted Wisdom Teeth

What is an impacted tooth?

Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, many times their jaws are too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting they are called impacted wisdom teeth. This indicates their inability to erupt into the proper position for chewing and cleaning.

For more information about Impacted Wisdom Teeth or to schedule a consult with Dr. Janette, call our San Luis Obispo office at Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Office in San Luis Obispo CA Phone Number 805-541-5611 or use our Appointment form.

What Do Impacted Wisdom Teeth Look Like?

Wisdom Teeth impacted in jaw: Patient x-ray on the left and illustration on the right

Types Of Impactions

We will need to see you for a consultation to determine if you will benefit from wisdom tooth removal. A special x-ray of your mouth and jaws (panorex) will be taken to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to erupt, and how difficult it will be to have them removed.

  • Soft Tissue Impaction: There is not enough room to allow the gum tissue to retract for adequate cleaning of the tooth.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: There is enough space to allow the wisdom tooth to partially erupt. However, the tooth cannot function properly in the chewing process, and creates cleaning problems, among others.
  • Complete Bony Impaction: There is NO space for the tooth to erupt. It remains embedded in the jaw bone or if even partially visible requires complex surgical techniques for removal.The impacted wisdom tooth may also be in an unusual position and difficult to remove. This situation can also arise when the shape or size of the jaw bone and other facial structures make removal of this tooth significantly more complex.

Illustrated Complications from Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth illustration: Lower erupted tooth affecting biteSoft Tissue
Wisdom Teeth illustration: Partially erupted lower tooth crowding lower teeth in jawPartial Bony
Wisdom Teeth illustration: Non-erupted lower tooth impacting normal tooth root in lower jawComplete Bony


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Contact San Luis Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dental Implant Center

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