Why Your Teen's Impacted Tooth Should Be Removed & How it Might Be Done

Posted on: 3 May 2019

Your dentist may recommend that your child has X-rays done at some point to identify potential problems that might interfere with the permanent teeth erupting properly. Impacted teeth can be caught early on an X-ray before they've had time to cause pain and infections. Here's why an impacted tooth can be a problem and how your dentist might treat it.

Why An Impacted Tooth Might Need Treatment

An impacted tooth is one that is either blocked from erupting or that is crooked and not growing straight up through the available space. The wisdom teeth are often impacted when there isn't enough room for them to erupt. The canine teeth are also affected commonly, but any tooth can have this problem. An impacted tooth can be completely buried under the gum or it can show above the gum partially.

Impacted teeth don't always need to be removed, so your dentist will monitor the situation as your child grows into the teen years and discuss the options for treatment if it becomes necessary. Problems that might occur because of an impacted tooth include pain, infections, erupted tooth decay, dental cyst development, and tooth misalignment.

How An Impacted Tooth Can Be Treated

If your dentist recommends treatment of an impacted tooth because it affects your child's appearance or because it is causing dental problems, then you will probably be referred to a dental surgeon for an evaluation of your child's problem. A surgeon has different treatments depending on the way the tooth is buried under the gums and how important it is to save the tooth. It's common to extract wisdom teeth, but the surgeon may want to save a canine tooth since it has an important function in biting and in spacing the front teeth.

Surgical options might include removing the tooth and transplanting it in the proper position. Another option is to expose the tooth by doing gum surgery so the tooth can be attached to braces that pull it into its normal position. Your child might have these procedures done under general anesthesia so there's no discomfort. However, the length of the surgery, the complexity of the operation, and the need for general anesthesia will all depend on the way your child's tooth is impacted.

The dental surgeon works with your child's dentist to determine the right treatment and the best age to have it done so your child has the best results and doesn't have to lose a tooth. If you're concerned about your child's oral health, contact services such as Center For Oral & Facial Surgery of Memphis PLLC.