Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Impacted wisdom teeth.

When people talk of wisdom teeth stories often surface of friends or family that have had "impacted" wisdom teeth. This word is used as the end all of dental stories. If your wisdom teeth were impacted then everyone feels horribly for you and you are the winner of nightmare dental stories.

Well, we need to dive a little further into this idea of impaction before we anoint anyone as having had the worst dental experience ever.

For you see, not all impactions are the same.

The word impacted simply means, stuck or wedged. If your 2 year old puts their head in between a railing that is too small for them and they can't pull their head out, then technically your child's head is impacted.

Many wisdom teeth become impacted simply because there is not enough room between the back tooth and the jaw bone. If the tooth is in a vertical position, similar to the other teeth, then this is called a vertical impaction. This situation is easily solved by simply shaving a small portion of bone out from around the tooth and allowing the tooth the necessary room to come out.

But what if your tooth is not in a horizontal position?
What if its tipped a little?
What if its tipped a lot?
What if its laying completely on its side!?

As the wisdom tooth tips further and further over it gets harder and harder to take out.
If its laying completely on its side, then my friends, you have what's called a horizontal impaction.
If you happen to have, or had, a horizontal impaction then you may then declare yourself the winner, at your dinner parties, as having the most horrible wisdom teeth at the table.

Below are examples of different types of impactions.

So as you can see.
Not all impactions are the same.

So, if if its going to be bad taking them out then lets just leave them in........ right?

Um...... No. Tune in tomorrow when we will see what can happen if you choose that route.

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