Impacted Teeth Oral Surgeon in Birmingham, AL

Impacted teeth are one of the leading causes of teeth that fail to erupt. It occurs when the tooth is stuck or does not have enough space to erupt into the mouth. The third molars are usually the most commonly impacted teeth, as they often do not have enough space to erupt or get stuck in the jaw. Another commonly impacted tooth is the maxillary canines; these are the “cornerstone” of the mouth and play an important role in chewing correctly. The good news is that the team at Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery located in Birmingham, Alabama are fully equipped to help with any of your impacted teeth needs. 

What is an Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that is blocked and stuck within the confines of the gums; the tooth either struggles to erupt or has no space to erupt.

Impacted teeth are diagnosed and treated in a dental office. Most impacted teeth do not display symptoms, and are discovered during routine checkups. Wisdom teeth are prone to impaction, and occur as they often only erupt once the jaw has stopped growing. Most people do not have enough room to accommodate the teeth and, as such, they remain stuck. Impacted wisdom teeth are often removed as they do not need to stay in the mouth.

Cuspidor maxillary canines are the second most commonly impacted teeth. These are needed for general structure in the mouth and support of the lips. Removing the canines will give the face a sunken appearance. Oral surgeons will use different treatment plans to help the canines erupt naturally.

Symptoms of Impacted Teeth

Oftentimes, no accompanying symptoms indicate impacted teeth; however, some common symptoms include:

  • Red and bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Pain when chewing or biting or opening the mouth

Early Detection of Impacted Canine Teeth

Early childhood dental appointments are essential as your dental surgeon will be able to monitor the formation of the teeth and assess whether further intervention is needed. Most impacted canines are noticed during the pre-teen and early teen years when permanent teeth are established.

Early detection is key to preventing further intervention at a later stage. The older the patient is, the more likely it will be to require invasive assistance to remove the tooth or help it erupt.

The age of the patient will impact the care and treatment required. 

  • 11–12 years old. The patient will have enough space in the mouth to allow for an eruption; with intervention, there will be a good chance for success.
  • 13–14 years old. If the impacted canine has not been guided through, it is unlikely to erupt by itself even with space cleared.
  • Over 25 years old. There is an increased chance that the tooth will be fused in its position. Treatment for this is removing the tooth and replacing it with a grown-over dental implant or attaching a fixed bridge.

What Happens When a Tooth Doesn’t Erupt in Adequate Space

The Surgeons of Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery will save as much of your teeth as possible; however, most impacted molars are removed. While each case is evaluated on an individual basis, canines are generally not extracted. If the tooth has enough room, it will be manually erupted and allowed to move into place.

It may also be that the best course of treatment for you is braces. If this is the determined best course of treatment, the Buck and Phillips team may work along with your orthodontist to install metal or ceramic braces to move the teeth and align them so that the impacted tooth can erupt freely. Some braces will attach to the affected tooth and slowly move it into place. Again, treatment will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

What to Expect with Surgery

Surgery to correct impacted teeth often involves exposing and bracketing the affected tooth. Our team can perform most corrective procedures in-office under general IV sedation. Depending on the severity of the impacted tooth, room will be created so that the tooth has space to erupt. Older patients might need removal and a crown inserted to replace the tooth.

Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery in Birmingham, AL specializes in maxillofacial and oral care and will be able to assist you with a treatment plan to help resolve impacted canines and remove wisdom teeth when needed. We would love to talk with you to discuss any questions you may have and to set up an appointment to determine the best treatment for you. You can reach us by calling either of our offices. We’d love to hear from you!