What is a soft tissue impacted tooth?

soft tissue impacted toothWhen a tooth has emerged from the jaw, but has not yet erupted through the gum tissue, this is a soft tissue impacted tooth. Frequently this situation occurs with third molars, more commonly known as wisdom teeth. When these teeth can’t erupt naturally, the patient may be advised their best option is for wisdom teeth removal.

There are multiple reasons this procedure may be needed. Teeth may be overcrowded, and when the wisdom teeth try to erupt, they force even more crowding creating a malocclusion.

Patients preparing to undergo orthodontic care may be faced with removing soft tissue impacted teeth for a successful teeth straightening process.

Removing a soft tissue impacted tooth is usually performed at the office of an oral surgeon. More often than not, the patient will be having all problematic teeth removed during this one appointment.

The patient will have had x-rays taken so the surgeon knows exactly the best way to proceed. The patient will be sedated for both expediency and the comfort for the patient. Having reliable transportation and someone to stay with for several hours is recommended.

The patient will be advised not to return to work or school that day, and may wish to rest for a couple of days. Depending on the level of impaction, swelling or bruising may occur. Ice packs on the outside of the jaw will help to minimize this.

The oral surgeon may prescribe medication stronger than what is available over the counter to ease discomfort.

The patient will benefit from rinsing with warm salt water; soft foods like gelatin, pudding, scrambled eggs or ice cream are best for a few days. Staying hydrated is important, but drinking through a straw is forbidden. Smoking should be discontinued as well. The sucking action could dislodge the clots creating a condition known as dry socket.

A dry socket should be treated to keep healing on track and to relieve the discomfort. If stitches were needed, they will generally dissolve naturally. However a return to the office for a check-up is very common.

Impacted third molars will not be missed, and having them removed could save the patient from many problems in the future.

If you have questions concerning your wisdom teeth, contact Wisdom Teeth Specialists of Utah at 801-943-8703 to schedule your professional consultation today.