Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that grow in the back one’s mouth. They are technically called the third molars because they appear after the second molars.
Wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset if they grow vertically and are aligned properly. However, these teeth have been know to grow diagonally and horizontally, thus causing problems for their owners. This uneven growing can cause a myriad of problems including crowding, damage to the adjacent second molars as well as the jawbone. Additionally, wisdom teeth sometimes do not fully erupt through the gum, and are termed as impacted.
Definition of impacted wisdom teeth
A tooth is said to become impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch and its growth is affected, by gum, bone or another tooth. There are different kinds of impaction. Mesioangular impaction occurs when the tooth grows forward towards the front of the mouth. Vertical impaction is when the formed wisdom tooth does not fully erupt through the gum. Horizontal impaction, which is not as common as the other two forms of impaction, occurs when the tooth is angled sideways, growing into the roots of the second molar.
Removal of impacted wisdom teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth are usually removed because of the problems they are causing or because of the problems that may arise if they remain in the mouth. In many cases, damage caused by wisdom teeth is not visible on the surface. Your Progressive Dentist will usually take full X-rays of the mouth to see what is going on underneath the gum and to determine what type of extraction is required.