Nature has provided us with two extra teeth, which appear sometime during adolescence or young adulthood. Known as wisdom teeth, they frequently do not have the room they need to emerge through the gums. When trapped below the gum surface, the tooth may grow at an odd angle or be fully or partially hidden, becoming a source of severe pain.

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

An impacted wisdom tooth is a third molar that does not fully emerge or grow appropriately through the gums. It can be partially or fully trapped in the jawbone or gums, leading to other dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, because they are difficult to clean. There are three categories of impacted wisdom teeth:

Fully impacted wisdom teeth: A fully impacted wisdom tooth (or “third molar”) will not be visible on the gum surface. While the tooth remains within the gum tissue, it is trapped and often grows at an odd angle, forward, sideways, or toward the back, and is a source of ongoing pain and discomfort.

Partially impacted wisdom teeth: When a wisdom tooth is partially impacted, some of the tooth erupts through the gum. This allows the tooth to be exposed to bacteria and prone to decay.

Non-impacted wisdom teeth: Some people have the luck of having enough room in the jaw for the wisdom tooth to come through naturally and function as an added molar.

The symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth can be excruciating and uncomfortable, including:

  • Facial swelling
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Gum disease
  • Decay
  • Damage to other teeth or nerves
  • Bad breath
  • Pain
  • Swollen gums
  • Food trapped in a partially erupted tooth and within the gum, causing infection

Step one: Diagnosis

The first step in treating an impacted wisdom tooth is a full dental examination, with X-rays and a physical evaluation, to determine how best to resolve the problem. 

Step two: Treatments for impacted wisdom teeth

The condition and position of the wisdom tooth will determine which treatment must be performed to resolve the issue. The types of treatments include:

  • Extraction: The wisdom tooth can often be extracted relatively easily. The tooth is accessed and gently pulled removed from the jaw. 
  • Dental surgery: Many wisdom teeth must be surgically removed, under intravenous sedation, allowing for a painless experience. The tooth is accessed through an incision and removed. It may need to be broken into several pieces during the surgical removal.
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Following all aftercare instructions must be followed after an impacted wisdom tooth is removed. It is normal to experience some throbbing pain, bleeding, swelling, or bruising. You will need to:

  • Avoid any hard or chewy foods
  • Avoid brushing, flossing, or drinking alcohol and caffeine for 24 hours
  • Drink all liquids through a straw
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise or other physical activities

In most cases, over-the-counter medication can keep you comfortable in the early stages of healing.

Why choose us?

At ConfiDental in Beverly Hills, your wisdom tooth extraction will be under the care of one of the most talented dental practitioners in the area. Dr. Liyan Massaband offers total dental care, including wisdom tooth extraction and concierge-style treatments in a private, boutique setting, on and off regular business hours. She is not an average dentist but has a master’s degree in public health and a Doctorate in dentistry. For the ultimate dental care, contact ConfiDental, where a talented dental practitioner with exceptional skills in all aspects of modern dentistry will perform your wisdom tooth extraction. 

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