In only the most extreme and necessary cases—such as when its roots are damaged beyond repair—we may extract a tooth in preparation for a restorative dentistry procedure, such as dentures or implants.

A tooth that does not erupt into the mouth is by definition defined as "impacted". Here is an example drawing of a wisdom tooth that did not erupt.

Impacted wisdom teeth can become a health problem later in life if they are not removed. For example, if the wisdom tooth should become infected, it would put the second molar, the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth at risk. If taken out too late in life, the bone may not fill into the space
that was once taken by the impacted wisdom tooth. When that happens, the second molar may not have enough healthy bone support to keep it healthy. If there is not enough bone support and a gum problem develops, it does not take much to cause a premature loss of the second molar.

Unfortunately, the lack of pain is not an indication you do not have a problem. Patients are surprised when a simple x-ray shows them they have impacted teeth with gum problems. If you suspect this might be you, please call us for a dental checkup. Our digital x-rays (less radiation x-rays), can let you know in seconds if you have this type of problem. Early detection can help you preserve your teeth.