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What Should I Do About an Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that is prevented from reaching its normal position in the mouth. The tooth may be prevented from fully erupting into the mouth due to bone, tissue or another tooth that is blocking its entrance.

The teeth that are most likely to become impacted are the “wisdom teeth” or third set of molars. These teeth in the back of your mouth are the last to develop and typically do not begin erupting into the mouth until the late teens or early twenties. Most people have four wisdom teeth. In many cases, by the time the wisdom teeth start to break through, there is very little room in the jaw to accommodate them. This causes impaction.

Impacted teeth can cause pain and further dental problems including dental infection of the gums, tooth decay or displacement of the other teeth in the mouth. Pain and swelling in the jaw, bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth can all be signs of an impacted tooth. A tooth impaction is typically diagnosed upon physical examination and may be confirmed with dental x-rays.

Since impacted teeth can cause a variety of other dental health problems, it is usually recommended that they be removed. If the tooth is exposed and appears to be easy to remove in one piece, a dentist may remove it using forcepts and a local anesthetic. However, if the procedures appears to be more complicated in nature, it may be referred to an oral surgeon. In this case, the extraction can occur under sedation or general anesthesia in a surgical or outpatient surgery setting.

If you think you may have an impacted tooth or several impacted teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can determine the best course of action to take to protect your long-term dental health.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria

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Based on 85 reviews

Patti B.
I had my first visit, for a routine cleaning. I am very impressed with the ease of scheduling an appointment, the convenience of appointments outside of ""regular"" business hours, the friendly staff and the thoroughness of the examination and cleaning procedure. Dr. Park was careful, compassionate, a good listener, and explained a lot about my teeth and her recommendations to care for my dental health moving forward. I am pleased and I look forward to being a long-term patient! Thanks Green Dental of Alexandria!
Roberto B.
Gold Stars on all fronts. The office is spotless, gives off a great vibe and has quiet soothing classical music playing. The front desk people are very warm and go above and beyond. Televisions are placed above the chairs so you can relax and watch TV while they work away under the hood. Dr. Park is very kind, thorough, and addressed all my concerns and questions.
Sure cleanings hurt a bit, but I actually look forward to them now!
Lauren K.
Best dental experience I've had in a long time. The reception/billing staff was friendly and helpful. The dental hygienists were gentle and knowledgeable. Dr Park was kind, thorough, and answered all of my questions. I'll be back!
Terry A.
Dr. Park has a wonderful manner with her patients! I feel very fortunate to have her as my dentist. Her hygienists and office staff are very competent and kind. I would go nowhere else.
Jennifer B.
I just had my first appointment at Green Dental and I couldn't be happier with their service. I tend to be nervous when going to the dentist, but all of the staff were very welcoming and nice. The exam chair massages your back as you're getting your cleaning and there's a television on the ceiling to distract you from dental work. The cleaning and evaluation was very gentle. Thanks, Green Dental!
Saletta C.
I've been a patient for 3.5 years. Today I got a tooth pulled. I am not proud of that. Dr. Park gave me options today that included allowing her to pull it or go see an Oral Surgeon. There was no way I was leaving her office when I trust her so much. I was nervous but I trust her more than anyone I've ever trusted to complete dental work. I am very found of Dr. Park and how caring and gentle her care is with each patient. I was equally impressed when I walked into her office today. Dr. Park was personally calling a patient just to see how he was doing after a visit. I joked with her about that .... what Dr. calls just to check on you anymore. Very nice. Very much appreciated.
Ranjana S.
I picked this because it was close and was impressed with the polite professionalism I encountered. Loved that I did not have to wait, but also loved the massage chair to relax tired back muscles. I felt the cost of procedures was a little on the high side...
Chantel L.
One of the best dental clinics I've been to thus far. I love the fact that they give an incentive (free tooth whitening) for good dental hygiene and their service is impeccable. I'm happy they actually went over the x-rays and pictures they took of my teeth to give more knowledge of what they look for in x-rays. I'm so happy I found them!
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