If you're reading this article, it's because you've been told (either at the dentist or elsewhere) that you have a tooth that is impacted or 'trapped' inside the bone. Or perhaps because you have a tooth that won't come out and you are considering the possibility that this phenomenon is happening to you.
Specialists in the field call this an impacted tooth and it happens more often than we think. For example, it is very common for wisdom teeth to become trapped in the jaw, because they do not fit, and consequently they have to be removed.
If you suffer from it, or if you are interested in it, today we will answer many of your questions related to the subject. Let's start with the first one:
What is an enclosed tooth?
Impacted teeth, also known as retained or impacted teeth, are those that are fully formed but are found in the maxillary or mandibular bone and do not erupt, sometimes even with 'out of the ordinary' inclinations, lying down, most of them happen due to obstructive physical factors (lack of space), and other times due to anomalous positions with their adjacent teeth.
There are usually two types of inclusion, total and temporary:
- Total when the tooth is fully embedded, has not broken through the gum and is not visible at all,
- Temporary when they have partially erupted, they have tried to emerge, but for reasons of lack of space or location they have not been able to emerge completely: we call them "semi-erupted" or "semi-impacted".
Why does a tooth remain unerupted?
The causes can vary, but are almost always due to factors related to bone and dental development of the arches, i.e. lack of space in the mouth.
What symptoms can occur?
Generally, they may be asymptomatic, and not notice anything at all, being seen and reported at a daily check-up.
On other occasions, some of the common symptoms associated with impacted teeth are pain, infections, displacement of other teeth, malocclusions, among others...
Is this a common occurrence?
Although it may seem that we are talking about extreme and strange cases, it is more common than it seems, and it can have serious consequences for the dentition.
Normally, the wisdom teeth and canines are the teeth that are statistically most often included. On other occasions, they can also affect other teeth, such as the lower second molars or some incisors, indistinctly.
Is there a solution?
The first thing to do is to carry out an exhaustive and very precise diagnosis of the state and causes that have led to the inclusion of the tooth. In a daily review by Vélez y Lozano we can assess the case, and we will carry out a series of exploratory tests and radiographic recordings for this purpose.
In children and adolescents, the focus is on the preventionThe fact that at this age, when we are still growing, we work a lot with the conformation and width of the dental arches, which becomes one of the greatest therapeutic advantages to avoid the inclusion of these teeth.
In the adult patient, treatments are usually more complex and the tractions of these teeth may present some limitations, and a good diagnosis is necessary to see if the included tooth should be approached or, on the contrary, extracted.
The most common alternatives for treating impacted teeth would be:
- Observation and monitoringIt is done in cases where it is decided to control the evolution and when there is no danger of secondary pathologies. Periodic check-ups are usually carried out.
- Removal of the retained partfor example, in impacted wisdom teeth that cause discomfort and infections.
- Relocation and traction of the tooth included in the archOrthodontic treatment: an attempt is made to put the teeth back where they should have erupted.
However, as you already know, our philosophy at the clinic is based on the preventionSo, as I have already mentioned, it is best to see a dentist at an early age, so that the palate can expand and develop so that this does not happen.
If you think you have this problem, or you know you have it, and you would like to make an appointment for an assessment with us, you can do so by contacting us at this address same website.