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What Is An Impacted Tooth?

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There are many orthodontic and dental terms used in an orthodontic office. You may have come across a few, including the term “an impacted tooth”. Wondering what this term means? At Windermere Orthodontics, we are here to help simplify and explain these terms to help our patients have a clear understanding of their treatment plan.

An “impacted tooth” refers to a tooth that has not yet erupted (come through the gums). This may occur if there is not enough space for the tooth to erupt or it may be trying to enter from the wrong direction. The causes of an impacted tooth are not scientifically proven, however, genetics has been considered to be a possible factor. For example, if a parent had an impacted tooth, there is a higher chance that their child will have one as well. The most common impacted teeth are often, wisdom teeth which are the last teeth to erupt. However, other teeth can also be impacted too.

As a child loses their baby teeth and their permanent teeth start to come in, they can also have impacted teeth. The impacted permanent tooth can be trapped under the gums if the baby tooth does not fall out. Occasionally a permanent tooth may not erupt at all! An impacted tooth can cause crowding or harm the roots of neighboring teeth. In these situations, it is not uncommon to experience some pain. As a result, a child also can find it difficult to chew their food.

Solutions for an impacted tooth include extraction of baby teeth  or in more severe cases, an oral surgery procedure called exposure and ligation.   At Windermere Orthodontics we can provide a consultation to help determine the best course of action.  Contact us in Suwanee or Cumming for your complimentary orthodontic consultation!

-Dr. Gorlovsky