Tooth impaction may be most common in wisdom teeth, which are the last to grow in, but the occurrence certainly isn’t limited to your final set of molars. Any tooth can potentially become impacted if circumstances prevent it from erupting.
The good news is there are treatment options to explore, and at Fioritto Family Dental, our trained and experienced dentists will advise you on the best treatment plan for your particular case. What causes impaction? Which teeth are most likely to become impacted, and what can you do about it?
What is an Impacted Tooth?
Normally, a developing tooth pushes through bone and gum tissue and erupts (becomes visible), while an impacted tooth is one that fails to erupt, or partially erupts. Impaction can affect tooth development, your bite, and the positioning of your other teeth.
Wisdom teeth are most commonly associated with impaction, however, impaction of the maxillary cuspids (canines, or eye teeth) commonly occur as well. Just as wisdom teeth are the last of the molars to come in, maxillary cuspids are the last of the front teeth to erupt.
Unfortunately, when eye teeth are impacted, it can be detrimental to oral health development. Proper formation of the eye teeth is the foundation for a correct bite pattern as subsequent teeth come in. While it’s not very common for incisors, or front teeth, to become impacted, it’s not unusual to see such issues with second molars and cuspids in the upper and lower jaws.
Causes of Impaction
There are several reasons why a tooth or teeth may become impacted, including:
- Dense bone or soft tissue that impedes eruption
- Tooth growing in at the wrong angle, or malposition
- Other teeth are in the way, as with crowding or tooth misalignment
- Presence of extra adult teeth
- Cysts or unusual growths blocking teeth
When teeth become impacted, you may experience pain, swelling, and bleeding. Impacted teeth can also cause other teeth to shift. They pose serious risk of decay, especially when partially erupted, because they’re so difficult to clean. This in turn, can lead to the formation of gum disease. In some cases, impacted teeth can be ‘guided out,’ but removal is most often recommended.
At Fioritto Family Dental, our highly trained dental professionals will assess your impacted teeth, and recommend the best treatment options. Common treatment includes extraction (removal) of crowded, impacted teeth. Some patients can be helped with orthodontic braces. Braces treat misalignment or malocclusion issues that can contribute to impaction. A treatment combination may be necessary, but early diagnosis allows for the best potential outcomes.
If your impacted tooth is causing discomfort, give us a call today! Fioritto Family dental team can help! Call 440-951-5511 or reach out to us online to learn more and to schedule an appointment.