Impacted Wisdom Teeth

What is an impacted tooth?

Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, many times their jaws are too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting they are called impacted wisdom teeth. This indicates their inability to erupt into the proper position for chewing and cleaning.

A diagram half mouth X-ray with teeth impaction and half digital graphic highlighting impacted teeth

Types Of Impactions

During your consultation appointment, one of our doctors will review your current x-ray to determine the position and the level of impaction of your wisdom teeth.

  • Soft Tissue Impaction: An insufficient amount of room to allow the gum tissue to retract for adequate cleaning of the tooth.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: Enough space to allow the wisdom tooth to partially erupt is available. However, the tooth cannot function properly in the chewing process and creates cleaning problems, among others.
  • Complete Bony Impaction: Due to the lack of space, the tooth remains embedded in the jaw bone. Even if the tooth is partially visible, the impacted tooth requires complex surgical techniques for removal. The impacted wisdom tooth may also be in an unusual position and difficult to remove. This situation can also arise when the shape or size of the jaw bone and other facial structures make removal of this tooth significantly more complex.
A representation of a wisdom tooth impacted by soft tissueSoft Tissue
An example of a wisdom tooth with a partial bony impactionPartial Bony
An illustration of a wisdom tooth completely impacted by boneComplete Bony