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.

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

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

Types of Tooth 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

Chapel Hill Implant & Oral Surgery Center

5 out of 5 stars based on 10 Wisdom Teeth reviews.

Patient Testimonial

If I had the do the procedure again I would most certainly come back here! Overall, I am very pleased.

- Sean S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

Had a great experience using the practice.

- Sophie K

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

All of my visits have been great. The doctor and staff have proven to be very friendly and engaging, taking their time to explain procedures, answer questions, and make sure I was comfortable. I really appreciate everyones help, and will happily recommend!

- Graham S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

Everything was explained very well. Instructions were given both verbally and in writing. Office was well organized and procedure day went smoothly. I appreciated phone call to check in on me after the procedure. My only one suggestion is an issue when staff tried to call me about the appointment timing or to check that I was coming or for follow up, the phone number appeared on my phone not as the office phone number so I didn't answer I did get voice mails so I knew to call back.

- Sarah P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

Felt very well taken care of. Very professional staff. Will be recommending to everyone.

- Connor P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

Wonderful experience from when I came in for consultation to my last appointment

- Mayra Z

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

Overall, this office is professional and made me feel at ease about my surgery. From the time I walked in the door until I was recovered, this experience was over the top!

- Hannah D

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

This practice was phenomenal! Everyone was nice and accommodating! I had to reschedule twice and their attitude about it was so friendly. I have low blood sugar and they accommodated me by giving me an early morning appointment! I called and left a message to cancel my first appointment and the surgeon actually called me back and was so kind. The day I arrived to have my wisdom teeth pulled, everyone made you feel comfortable. They checked on me during my recovery. They even gave me ice cream and wheeled me to my car. The assistant Mayra went over all my post-opt information thoroughly. Not to mention the office was very clean! I would highly recommend them for your dental needs! Very satisfied patient.

- Kimberly Y

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

For years I had been told that maybe I should get my wisdom teeth out by numerous dentists. Sadly, instead of heeding their advice, I put it off until one of them began giving me problems. When I scheduled my appointment with Dr. Hill for a consult, I went in thinking that maybe only the one that was giving me problems would come out. However, after using the advance imaging techniques at Dr. Hill's office, it became apparent that all four wisdom teeth really needed to come put. Dr. Hill was very professional in his assessment, and when he finally made the assessment that all four needed to come out, I trusted him. The day of the removal of my wisdom teeth, I was very nervous, understandably. However, the prep nurse was extremely sympathetic and friendly, and made me feel as at ease as possible as I was prepped. The professionalism of the anesthesiologist and then Dr. Hill as he greeted me further put me at ease. As for the procedure itself, I have no memory of it...they did a good job on the anesthesia! After the surgery, I followed the post-op care to the letter, including keeping cold compresses on my face constantly. The pain was almost non-existent, and Advil was easily enough to keep it at bay. Swelling was also minimal. By the third or fourth day, I was feeling pretty good, and my follow up appointment a week later went well. I have absolutely no complaints and nothing but good things to say about Dr. Hill and his entire practice. If others need care, Dr. Hill's practice should certainly be your first and only stop!

- John S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial

The overall experience & procedure was QUICK, & CONVENIENT. The entire TEAM was FRIENDLY, REASSURING, KNOWLEDGABLE, & PROFESSIONAL I was truly AMAZED by the follow-up after procedure phone call from Dr. Hill. I would most definitely RECOMMEND DR. Hill to anyone who is in need of his professional opinion, or service. After all your SMILE says a lot about the way you greet one another.

- Tim L

5 out of 5 stars on