An impacted tooth – this is a tooth that is left in the bone and is often incorrectly positioned (horizontally). All teeth can be impacted, but most often this applies to the lower wisdom teeth, canines and premolars. When a tooth does not erupt after 6 months of the normal time limits, an X-ray picture should be done to identify if there is tooth germ and in what position it is.

X-ray of a pacient with impacted wisdom teeth

The reasons for an impacted tooth can be delayed resorption of the roots of primary (deciduous) teeth, pathological processes around the teeth and bone and joint diseases (rickets, endocrine disorders, vitamin disorders etc.). The lower wisdom teeth could be impacted the most due to lack of space in the jaw for their growth. Impacted teeth in most cases do not cause symptoms. They may remain in the bone and can be found on the X-ray image on another occasion.

Different position of wisdom teeth

In other cases there can occur pain, feeling of heaviness in the area of the tooth, difficulty in opening the mouth and impaired chewing. There is most commonly complications with wisdom teeth. When they are positioned incorrectly in the bone (horizontally), they can exert pressure on the roots of adjacent teeth, resulting in temporal or continuous discomfort or even pain. The impacted tooth can cause decay of the neighbouring tooth or displace healthy teeth from their normal position. This occurs most often in the lower front teeth, which are piled on each other. In some cases the lower wisdom teeth can be half-impacted.
These are wisdom teeth which have erupted only partly over the gum of the tooth, the rest cannot grow. Very often with half-impacted wisdom teeth there is inflammation of the gums around the tooth – the so-called pericoronitis. In pericoronitis there is increased lymph nodes, pain with swallowing and redness of the gums over the impacted tooth. The treatment of pericoronitis is through microsurgical operation. When there is recurrent complaints from an impacted tooth, surgical removal is necessary.

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