Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal Ft. Lauderdale

Removal of a tooth is one of the most common procedures performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Reasons for tooth removal may include :

  • Advanced tooth decay
  • Severe periodontal disease
  • Teeth involved with cysts/tumors
  • Impaction (inability to erupt)

The following is a discussion of the more commonly performed dental related surgeries by Dr. Sultan.

Impacted Teeth

When a tooth is “stuck” in the gum or bone and is prevented from erupting, it is considered “impacted”. The most common impacted tooth is the third molar, or “wisdom tooth“. Because of human development and dietary habits, most people do not have enough room in the jaws for all 32 teeth. Hence, the wisdom teeth, or the most posterior teeth in the mouth become impacted. However, other teeth are also commonly found impacted, such as the canine, second bicuspid and second molar.

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems, although they may not cause symptoms. Developing impacted teeth may cause crowding of other teeth, necessitating braces. Partially erupted teeth may cause inflammation and infection in the surrounding gum and bone. The soft tissue sac of the developing impacted tooth may enlarge into a fluid filled cavity, or cyst. Localized growths can occur in association with impacted teeth, or tumors.

Radiograph of impacted wisdom teethImpacted wisdom teeth

It is extremely important for Dr. Sultan to obtain a 3 dimensional image (Cone Beam CT) of the jaws in order to evaluate for any of these conditions. The advantage of the CT over a conventional panoramic image is the ability to determine the exact anatomic location of the teeth in question to important structures (i.e. nerves, sinus). This information is vital to determining the risk of the surgery and to help avoid complications. As healing takes place more easily in the younger patient, removal of impacted teeth is recommended prior to age 25 if possible. However, it is not uncommon to remove an impacted tooth on an adult patient wearing dentures! Thus, the reasons for a thorough periodic exam by your dentist with appropriate referral is important.

A more in depth discussion on impacted teeth can be found in the audio/visual section of this site or within the following multimedia presentation.

Exposure of Impacted Teeth

Should an impacted tooth be required in the arches to restore a normal bite relationship, your orthodontist may recommend exposure of the tooth. This is a common procedure for many impacted teeth, except the wisdom teeth. Through a small incision, the impacted tooth is uncovered, freed, and an orthodontic bracket attached. The tooth is then gradually brought into position by the orthodontic appliances.

Impacted Tooth - Orthodontics attached

Impacted Tooth-pulled into correct position

Tooth Removal In Preparation for Dentures

Due to severe disease, unrestorable teeth may be removed in preparation for placement of a partial or complete denture. Teeth can be removed individually or all at once. In conjunction with tooth removal, recontouring of the surrounding bone (alveoplasty) is performed in order to allow unrestricted placement of the appliance.

Surgical Root Canal (Apicoectomy)

Severe decay or trauma may cause the nerve of the tooth to become irreversibly inflamed, or may eventually die. For these reasons, a root canal is commonly performed. However, not all root canals are successful long term. The most common reasons for a failing root canal are:

Apicoectomy performed by Oral Surgeon in Ft. Lauderdale FL

  • Residual infection in tooth root
  • Extra, unfilled canals
  • Root fracture
  • Cyst formation

In certain situations, you and Dr. Sultan may recommend an apicoectomy, or surgical root canal. A small incision is made exposing the tip of the involved root,, and removing the offending cause of the failure. The root is then sealed with either a silver or cement filling material.

The majority of the above procedures are performed in our state-of-the-art, office-based, outpatient surgical facility. The choice of anesthesia depends on many factors. All patients are given local anesthetic to numb the area. Patients may elect to supplement their procedure with nitrous oxide (laughing gas), intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Certain conditions may require your surgery to take place in the hospital. Please refer to the section on anesthesia services for a more thorough explanation of your choices.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom tooth extraction, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom tooth extraction are discussed.

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