A. A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch for the tooth to erupt normally. An impacted tooth may be completely covered by bone and/or gum tissue, or it may be exposed partially into the mouth.

A. Impacted and partially impacted teeth can lead to pain, infection and damage to adjacent teeth and roots. Occasionally more serious problems including cysts and tumors may arise which can destroy adjacent teeth and jaw bone. Left untreated these cysts and tumors can be disfiguring and are therefore best prevented or caught and treated in the early stages.

A. Not all problems relating to wisdom teeth are painful or obvious. Often times damage is occurring without your awareness for a long period of time. It is estimated that 85% of wisdom teeth eventually require removal. Your surgeon can discuss the specifics of your case with you while taking into consideration your examination, x-ray findings, medical history and related dental conditions.

A. It is not wise to wait for bothersome problems with your wisdom teeth. In general, early removal results in fewer complications and faster healing. Research has shown that older patients are at greater risk for periodontal disease with the adjacent teeth, have more post-operative complications and take longer to recover.

A. Oral & maxillofacial surgeons are specialists in managing wisdom teeth and the problems associated with them. While other dentists may remove wisdom teeth in certain cases, an oral surgeon is highly trained and experienced with the many complexities of wisdom tooth surgery leading to fewer complications. Furthermore, oral surgeons are able to safely provide IV sedation and general anesthesia for your maximal comfort.