Impaction is a term used to describe when a tooth doesn't come in, emerges partially, develops in the wrong position, or appears stuck. This can happen for a variety of reasons but the most popular reasons are crowding and genetics.
How Do I Fix It?
Fixing an impacted tooth can range from something as simple as removing a baby tooth to treating the patient with a Rapid Palatal Expander to expand the jaw and create more room for permanent teeth to come in.
A tooth that has developed in the wrong direction or position can require a combination of a surgical procedure called an exposure to guide the tooth into its proper place using orthodontics.
What About Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are commonly impacted due to lack of room in the arch and the position or direction of the wisdom teeth. Removal of the third molars are performed by an oral surgeon and determined on an individual basis by your orthodontist and surgeon.
How Do I Know a Tooth is Impacted?
Special x-rays are taken to look at the development of permanent teeth under the gums and address space, position and directional concerns. Intervention at a young age can often prevent impacted teeth in adulthood. It is best to see an orthodontist by age seven, as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
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