A tooth may need to be taken out for various reasons, including the existence of extensive caries, severe bone loss brought about by infection or the need to gain space in the dental arch. Usually carried out under local anaesthesia, extractions may involve different degrees of complexity.
Surgical Extractions of Unerupted Teeth or impactions
Teeth are said to be unerupted when they don’t erupt. The non-eruption of a tooth may be brought about by various reasons, with one of the most common being the lack of space in the dental arch. If they are not removed, the constant pressure caused by the attempt to erupt may bring about various problems such as the destruction of neighbouring teeth, inflammation, pain and crowding.
Being the last to grow, wisdom teeth most frequently remain unerupted.
When wisdom teeth are misaligned, they may position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars, or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves.
Wisdom teeth also can be impacted — they are enclosed within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. Partial eruption of the wisdom teeth allows an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.
There are also situations in which the body produces extra teeth, the supernumerary teeth, which do not have space to erupt.