Do Impacted Teeth Require Surgery?

Do Impacted Teeth Require Surgery?

When it comes to dental health, impacted teeth are a common issue. Impaction refers to teeth that have failed to erupt properly through the gums or haven’t emerged at all. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the most frequently impacted teeth, but impaction can affect any tooth. 

Whether or not you need surgery for an impacted tooth depends on various factors. Scheduling a visit with an orthodontist is the best first step. 

Board-certified orthodontist Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, and our team at Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, provide top-quality care for your entire family. While not all impacted teeth require surgery, it’s the recommended course of action in most cases.

Why surgery might be necessary

Here are some of the reasons surgery may be the best option for you:

Oral health issues

Impacted teeth can lead to various complications, including infection and damage to adjacent teeth. These risks increase if your impacted tooth is partially erupted, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. 

Your partially erupted tooth can trap food and plaque, leading to decay not only in your impacted tooth but also in your neighboring teeth. Additionally, cysts or tumors can form around your impacted tooth, potentially leading to more severe health issues, including jawbone damage. 

Surgical removal of your tooth can prevent these complications and help maintain overall oral health.

Pain and discomfort

An impacted tooth can cause pain in your jaw and gums and even radiate to other areas of your face and neck. You might experience problems chewing or opening your mouth, and in some cases, the pain can lead to headaches and migraines. 

Surgery can provide relief from these symptoms by removing the source of your pain. It's not just about alleviating current discomfort; surgery can also prevent future episodes of pain and chronic discomfort associated with impacted teeth.

Orthodontic reasons

Impacted teeth can disrupt the alignment of your other teeth, pushing against neighboring teeth and causing misalignment and bite issues. 

In these cases, removing your impacted tooth is crucial for orthodontic treatment plans. It creates the necessary space and environment for your remaining teeth to be properly aligned, either naturally or with the help of orthodontic appliances. This not only improves the appearance of your smile but also the functional aspects of your teeth.

Preventive care

In some instances, even if an impacted tooth isn't currently causing problems, Dr. Touni might recommend removal as a preventive measure, especially for wisdom teeth, to avoid potential future complications. 

This is also the case for patients who might face increased risks due to age, medical history, or lifestyle factors. Early intervention can prevent more serious issues and can be a key part of a comprehensive dental care plan.

Consider alternatives

Surgery isn't always needed for an impacted tooth. The decision largely depends on the position of your impacted tooth and the symptoms it's causing.


If your impacted tooth isn’t causing pain or dental issues, Dr. Touni may suggest a wait-and-see approach, monitoring your tooth regularly to ensure no complications crop up.

Nonsurgical interventions

In some cases, especially with children and teenagers, nonsurgical approaches like orthodontic treatments can guide the eruption of impacted teeth into their correct positions.

Schedule an evaluation

The decision to opt for surgery is made after a thorough evaluation with Dr. Touni. If you or a loved one is dealing with an impacted tooth, consult with Dr. Touni to determine the best course of action. He provides personalized advice and helps you make the most appropriate decision based on your specific circumstances.

To get started, schedule a consultation with Dr. Touni by calling our office today or booking an appointment online any time.

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