Tooth impaction: Is the tooth stuck?

A tooth is impacted if it fails to erupt due to some obstruction. The obstruction may be neighbouring teeth, abnormal mass of calcified tissue, an extra tooth, or thick impenetrable gum. There should be a period of observation to confirm if the tooth is indeed impacted. Sometimes, apparently impacted teeth manage to twist and turn and free themselves.

Upper and lower wisdom teeth (circled) appear impacted.

Upper and lower wisdom teeth (circled) appear impacted.

A year later, the top wisdom tooth has freed itself by changing its path of eruption. The bottom wisdom tooth appears less inclined.

A year later, without any intervention, the top wisdom tooth has freed itself by changing its path of eruption. The bottom wisdom tooth appears less inclined.

 

An inverted mesiodens impacted between upper incisors.

An inverted mesiodens impacted between upper incisors.

See also: Can I avoid surgery for my impacted wisdom tooth?

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