Impacted Wisdom Teeth

What is an impacted tooth?

Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, many times their jaws are too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting they are called impacted wisdom teeth. This indicates their inability to erupt into the proper position for chewing and cleaning.

For more information about Impacted Wisdom Teeth or to schedule a consult with Dr. Won, please use our Appointment Request form or call our NC offices at Raleigh (Brier Creek Medical Building Phone Number 919-293-0299) or Elizabeth City (Elizabeth City Office Phone Number 252-562-6151).

What do impacted wisdom teeth look like?

Wisdom Teeth impacted in jaw: Patient x-ray on the left and illustration on the right

Types Of Impactions

We will need to see you for a consultation to determine if you will benefit from wisdom tooth removal. A special x-ray of your mouth and jaws (panorex) will be taken to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to erupt, and how difficult it will be to have them removed.

  • Soft Tissue Impaction: There is not enough room to allow the gum tissue to retract for adequate cleaning of the tooth.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: There is enough space to allow the wisdom tooth to partially erupt. However, the tooth cannot function properly in the chewing process, and creates cleaning problems, among others.
  • Complete Bony Impaction: There is NO space for the tooth to erupt. It remains embedded in the jaw bone or if even partially visible requires complex surgical techniques for removal.The impacted wisdom tooth may also be in an unusual position and difficult to remove. This situation can also arise when the shape or size of the jaw bone and other facial structures make removal of this tooth significantly more complex.

Illustrated examples of wisdom teeth impaction types

Jaw illustration: Partial Bony Impaction by lower Wisdom ToothSoft Tissue
Jaw illustration: Partial Bony Impaction by lower Wisdom ToothPartial Bony
Jaw illustration: Complete Bony Impaction by lower Wisdom ToothComplete Bony


Request an Appointment

The first step towards a beautiful, healthy smile is to schedule an appointment. Please contact our office by phone or complete the appointment request form below. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment. If you are an existing patient, this contact form should not be used to communicate private health information.
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