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Understanding The Types of Wisdom Tooth Impactions

animated picture of teeth

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are located at the back of your mouth. They usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25.

However, not everyone has enough space in their mouths for these new teeth to come in and emerge properly through the gums. As a result, these teeth become partially or entirely trapped within the jawbone. This is a painful condition known as wisdom tooth impaction.

In this article, we will help you understand the different types of wisdom tooth impactions and how they can affect our oral health.

Types of Wisdom Tooth Impactions

Understanding the different types of wisdom tooth impactions can help us identify potential issues and seek early treatment if necessary. 

There are four main types of tooth impactions: 

Mesioangular Impaction

Mesioangular impaction occurs when the wisdom tooth grows at an angle facing the front of the mouth, pressing against the nearby molar. This type of impaction is quite common and can cause discomfort and pain. 

It may also lead to dental crowding (when teeth are grown improperly, causing them to be twisted and misaligned) or even damage to the neighbouring tooth. 

Vertical Impaction

Vertical impaction happens when the tooth grows straight up, parallel to the other teeth but has a hard time erupting through your gums. It is considered the ideal position for a wisdom tooth to erupt as it allows for easy cleaning and doesn’t cause significant complications. 

However, regular monitoring is still necessary to ensure proper oral health. Your dentist may suggest an extraction if your tooth causes pressure to the bone.

Distoangular Impaction

In distoangular impaction, the wisdom tooth grows at an angle facing the back of the mouth, away from the adjacent second molar. While less common, it can still cause discomfort and pain. Our dentist will determine if an extraction is necessary by the angle of impaction.

Horizontal Impaction

Horizontal impaction is when the tooth grows sideways completely away from the surface, parallel to the jawbone at an almost 90-degree angle. This also applies pressure to the molar in front of it. It is generally the most painful type of wisdom tooth impaction that can cause you a significant amount of discomfort. 

If you feel you have a horizontally impacted wisdom tooth or are experiencing discomfort, schedule a consult with PMD. We will evaluate your condition and recommend wisdom tooth removal if needed to ease your pain and help maintain your oral health.