An impacted tooth is a tooth that gets trapped in your gums. Whether it’s completely or partially impacted, it can have a serious impact on your oral health. Plus, impacted teeth can be very painful.
Once a tooth becomes impacted, it almost always requires professional care. Sometimes, eruption aids are all that’s needed. But in other cases, surgery to extract the tooth may be required.
The type of treatment your impacted tooth needs depends on your mouth, the number of teeth affected, and a handful of other factors. Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, specializes in impacted teeth at Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, and he can help you find the best course of treatment.
When to try nonsurgical treatment for impacted teeth
Teeth become impacted when they can’t fully emerge from your gum line. When a new tooth comes in, it might be partially or fully trapped in your gums. Dr. Touni often starts by recommending nonsurgical care if:
Your mouth is still developing
When you’re young, your mouth isn’t fully developed yet. It might still have some growing to do, and you may not have all your permanent teeth yet. In these cases, Dr. Touni might use eruption aides to encourage your impacted tooth to fully emerge. Eruption aids can include braces, brackets, or extracting primary (baby) teeth to help make room for your new tooth to come in.
Your tooth is partially impacted
If you have a tooth that’s partially visible but it’s still impacted, it may be treatable with a simple extraction. Simple extractions don’t require surgery. Instead, Dr. Touni and our team use a local anesthetic to numb the area and pull the impacted tooth with specialized dental tools.
When to consider surgery for your impacted teeth
Sometimes, surgical extraction is the best option for impacted teeth. Surgery generally involves making an incision in your gum to reach the impacted tooth, then removing it and closing your gum. Dr. Touni might recommend surgery if:
Your tooth is severely impacted
A tooth that’s fully or deeply impacted may be impossible to see with a visual exam. In these cases, simple extraction isn’t an option and Dr. Touni needs to use surgery to access your tooth. Surgical extraction is a common treatment for impacted wisdom teeth at the back of your mouth.
Your tooth is decayed
Impacted teeth are at risk of decay, because they can’t be cleaned like your other teeth. If you’ve had an impacted tooth for a while, it may be severely decayed and could put your overall oral health at risk.
Severely decayed teeth are often fragile or broken, and surgical extraction might be the best way for Dr. Touni to ensure he removes all the parts of the affected tooth.
If you’re bothered by the pain of an impacted tooth, don’t wait to seek treatment. Learn about your options with a consultation at Touni Orthodontics. Call our office today or request an appointment online to get started.