Tooth eruption is nothing but the process in which the tooth travels from beneath the jaws to enter the mouth and become visible to us. A tooth is called “impacted” if its path is obstructed by any other tooth, bone or soft tissue.
Depending upon the position of the impacted tooth inside the jawbone, there are four types of impaction:
An impacted wisdom tooth may cause gum swelling in the back of your mouth, difficulty or pain in opening your jaw, bad breath, bad taste in the mouth, and pain while chewing or biting.
X-rays of the wisdom teeth are taken to assess the positions, shapes and sizes of the tooth, the covering bone and the nerve. X-rays also locate cysts or tumors that may be associated with the tooth and to assist the surgeon to plan the surgical procedure.
In cases where there is sufficient space for the teeth to erupt such as with soft-tissue impaction, then a Pericoronal flap excision is done. The second option is surgical removal of impacted third molars between ages 16-20 if it is found that there is no space for them to erupt.
Complications or risks associated with surgical removal include pain, swelling, infection, and bleeding.