Impacted tooth – what is it? Causes, methods of treatment

Ząb zatrzymany – co to jest Przyczyny, sposoby leczenia

Tooth retention occurs when the eruption process is not completed. Sometimes it means that the tooth does not emerge at all, but sometimes it can just slightly protrude above the gum surface. This condition is associated not only with discomfort but also with some risks in the future.

What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that has not taken its proper place on the dental arch and remains completely or partially below the gum line. Tooth retention most often occurs in the case of molars, especially the ‘eights’, but all milk and permanent teeth can be retained.

Symptoms of tooth retention

The obvious symptom of a retained tooth is its absence in the dental arch. However, this visible symptom will not have a diagnostic value in the case of the upper eights or the lower ones, because their buds are not present in all people. In addition, permanent tooth retention may also cause other symptoms:

  • gum disease above the retained tooth and adjacent teeth – from inflammation to periodontitis;
  • discomfort or pain, especially when moving the mandible;
  • abnormal bite resulting from pathological mechanisms of pain reduction. This symptom may refer to any dental arch, and even reach the deformation of the bones of the lower or upper jaw;
  • in the case of a partially retained tooth, caries of its crown also occur.

Most symptoms are nonspecific, but together they give a fairly accurate picture. Only if the impaction relates to wisdom teeth, then even the mere finding of the impaction may require more accurate imaging.

Causes of tooth retention

There are relatively few causes of a retained tooth, but they are not always easily linked to the problem.

  • The dominant cause is genetics – some people have an inborn tendency to retain teeth.
  • Retention of permanent teeth may occur in case of patients with jaw injuries or who have undergone improper dental procedures.
  • The reason may also be the improper arrangement of the front or side teeth, which ‘block’ the possibility of the emergence of other teeth.
  • Less frequently, tooth retention occurs due to avitaminosis or hormonal changes.

Determining the cause is not crucial for starting treatment. The exception may be avitaminosis, which, however, causes several symptoms more visible and more specific than tooth retention itself.

What should you do if you suspect you have a retained tooth?

Diagnosis of a retained tooth requires X-ray imaging. If you suspect the impaction of a deciduous or permanent tooth, contact a dentist who will confirm the diagnosis and verify whether the impacted tooth requires treatment. There are no possibilities to confirm the diagnosis yourself, let alone fix the problem on your own.

What are the procedures for removing impacted teeth?

Impacted tooth extraction

If the tooth is partially impacted, it is sometimes possible to extract the impacted tooth with orthodontic braces. This is quite time-consuming, so this method is mainly used if a tooth other than the third molar is stuck in the jawbone.

Surgical extraction of a retained tooth

If the retained tooth does not erupt completely, is sick, causes severe pain, or simply the remaining teeth have taken its place, leading to tooth crowding, the retained tooth can be extracted surgically. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia.

Both of these procedures can be carried out in the HCentrum dental clinic, where the best dentists, orthodontists, and jaw surgeons will prepare an individual action plan and suggest a better course of action.

Why should we not ignore impacted teeth?

Even a partially retained tooth can negatively affect oral health, so a retained tooth should never be ignored.

  • An impacted tooth can cause changes in bone structure and deform the soft tissues in its area.
  • Pain and discomfort, apart from making life difficult, can contribute to the development of secondary malocclusions.
  • Retained teeth are susceptible to caries, which can also infect other, previously healthy teeth.

If premolars, canines, or incisors stop, then apart from physical ailments, this should be treated as an aesthetic defect that significantly reduces the level of self-confidence of many patients.

How much does it cost to remove a retained tooth?

Removing a wisdom tooth usually costs from PLN 200 to PLN 1000. The price depends on the location of the tooth, its arrangement, and other factors. A retained wisdom tooth from the upper jaw bone is generally easier to remove than lower third molars. Sometimes it is also necessary to carry out other oral procedures, which increases the price. You will always find out the exact amounts from the dentist who will prepare an individual treatment plan. The costs of diagnostics must also be taken into account. After removing the retained tooth, the patient can enjoy full comfort relatively quickly.