Impacted Wisdom Teeth

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. They are usually the last teeth to develop and are located in the back of your mouth, behind your second molars. Their development is usually completed between the middle teenage years and early twenties, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and the attainment of wisdom.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

What Is An Impacted Tooth?

Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, many times their jaws are too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting they are called impacted. This indicates their inability to erupt into the proper position for chewing and cleaning.

A diagram half mouth X-ray with teeth impaction and half digital graphic highlighting impacted teeth

Types Of Impactions

We will need to see you for a consultation to determine if you will benefit from wisdom tooth removal. A special x-ray of your mouth and jaws (panorex) will be taken to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to erupt, and how difficult it will be to have them removed.

  • Soft Tissue Impaction: There is not enough room to allow the gum tissue to retract for adequate cleaning of the tooth.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: There is enough space to allow the wisdom tooth to partially erupt. However, the tooth cannot function properly in the chewing process, and creates cleaning problems, among others.
  • Complete Bony Impaction: There is NO space for the tooth to erupt. It remains embedded in the jaw bone or if even partially visible requires complex surgical techniques for removal.The impacted wisdom tooth may also be in an unusual position and difficult to remove. This situation can also arise when the shape or size of the jaw bone and other facial structures make removal of this tooth significantly more complex.
A representation of a wisdom tooth impacted by soft tissueSoft Tissue
An example of a wisdom tooth with a partial bony impactionPartial Bony
An illustration of a wisdom tooth completely impacted by boneComplete Bony

Delaware Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants

5 out of 5 stars based on 8 Wisdom Teeth reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. Ettinger was excellent! Staff was very friendly and welcoming. I would recommend this office for any dental needs .

- Kristin B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

We have know Dr. Ettinger for years and he is truly a "unicorn" among medical doctors--the rare combination of a brilliant surgeon with compassionate heart, who explains complex medicine in plain english! I would highly recommend to Dr. Ettinger and his team for any important oral surgery procedure.

- Fran L

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I came in to have two wisdom teeth removed. Dr. Ettinger and his entire staff were so professional and welcoming and immediately put me at ease for a very stressful procedure. After the procedure, which was quick and easy, the entire staff made sure I had everything I needed to efficiently recover. One of the nurses, Lisa Marie, even called me later that afternoon to check in and see how I was doing. I could not be happier with my experience.

- Jonathan D

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I highly recommend this office for all of your dental needs.

- Deborah M

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The overall experience was good. Everyone there is nice and I wouldn't mind going back if I have to.

- Courtney S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr.Ettinger was very nice and he explained to me exactly what he was going to do and how he was going to do it. I was extremely nervous because I did not want to be in a lot of pain like my friends had told me they were after getting their teeth pulled, but I was never in any pain, just a little sore and only experienced a little bit of swelling! I was so surprised that I immediately told my friends that if they needed to get their teeth pulled to go to his office because he took great care of me and his staff was so friendly and so nice and they made sure I received the best care.

- Brianna P

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Since the last time I had a tooth removed I think they used a chisel and hammer, I was pretty nervous; but the staff and Dr. Ettinger were great in helping me feel at ease. Seeing how nervous I was, Dr. E offered to reschedule and give me anesthesia, but I opted to go for it with local numbing. The needle was the worst part (isn't it always?) but there was no pain and my wisdom tooth was out in 10 seconds. I followed the post-op instructions and had relatively no pain afterwards. Great job!I I would recommend Dr. Ettinger for any oral surgical procedure.

- Kathy W

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I wouldn't go anywhere else. First class experience!

- Tricia H

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