Wisdom Teeth Phoenix

Dr. Ingersoll is an expert in the diagnosis and management of impacted wisdom teeth (third molars). His experience can benefit patients by using his advanced skills in sedation and surgery to minimize anxiety, discomfort and swelling.


We will discuss all of the details associated with your particular care of an impacted tooth at a consultation appointment in our Phoenix office. You will be given the opportunity to have questions answered to your satisfaction. Dr. Ingersoll will instruct you on preoperative management of your medications, postoperative management of the surgical procedure and anticipated time of recovery. Your speedy recovery is our utmost concern.

What is an impacted tooth?

When a tooth forms within your jawbones, as it develops, it travels upwards or downwards towards its appropriate place in your dental arch. This is normal except for mild discomfort when the tooth “erupts,” all will be well. However, if the tooth travels in the wrong direction or the tooth’s progress is blocked by another tooth or impeded by the dense bone structure of your jaw, the tooth fails to erupt and therefore is called impacted. The most commonly impacted tooth is a wisdom tooth or third molar.

How serious it is an impacted tooth?

It isn’t normal for a tooth to remain beneath the surface beyond the age of 21 and difficulties may likely develop. The earliest problem has to do with the pressure the impacted tooth produces by pressing on the good teeth that have already erupted. This pressure may cause injury to the roots of the good teeth or push them out of position and affect your ability to chew normally.

Another common problem is bacteria. When bacteria from the mouth surrounds the crown of the tooth this bacteria may grow unchecked. This can cause infection resulting in pain and swelling. Low-grade bacterial contamination may not cause any discomfort or swelling. Over time however, bacteria may cause bone loss and possible decay on the adjacent tooth. This same bacteria can cause decay of the impacted tooth. When this type of decay occurs, there is no way for the dentist to repair such a cavity and severe pain can result.

A less common problem associated with an impacted tooth is the formation of a cyst around the impacted tooth. This form of abnormality can result in the destruction of bone tissue as well as damage to other 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.

Must an impacted tooth come out if it hasn’t caused trouble yet?

No one can tell when an impacted tooth will cause you trouble. Many studies done recently conclude that trouble probably will arise. If it does, it can arrive unexpectedly and at an inconvenient time. If the trouble occurs when you’re much older, the procedure will be more difficult and your recovery will be prolonged in comparison to having it cared for at an early age. A consultation with Dr. Ingersoll will allow him to assess your particular risk.

What is the operation like?

The removal of an impacted tooth is a surgical procedure. It requires incision of the gum tissue, cutting the tooth and probably some removal of bone. The removal of the tooth will be performed utilizing anesthesia, sterile instruments and special lighting. Patients are usually sedated for this type of surgery. The procedure may last for a period of time ranging from 20 min. up to 60 min. depending on the difficulty of the procedure. The wound will be repaired with sutures. These sutures will dissolve on their own. You may have some swelling and discomfort. You will be instructed on home care by Dr. Ingersoll and his staff. Following their instructions will improve your recovery.

What complications may arise?

None are expected. Nonetheless any operation carries some risk. The wound caused by removal of impacted tooth will require healing. The speed of that healing will depend upon year or body to generate tissue.

If the impacted tooth was found along the lower jaw, it may rest on the main nerve that follows the jaw line. Another nerve is located on the inside area of the jaw close to the wisdom tooth. While all precautions will be taken, a nerve may be bruised. This will result in some numbness of the lower lip or tongue on that side. This defect usually does not last more than a few weeks in most cases as a nerve commonly repairs itself.

If your tooth is in the upper jaw, care will be taken to avoid any trauma to the maxillary sinus. The sinus is a hollow spot inside your upper jaw that communicates with your nose. Occasionally the thin wall of bone separating the tooth from the sinus may crack slightly and some blood may see them to the sinus. Dr. Ingersoll will repair the communication to the sinus and give you instructions that you should follow to minimize any complications with healing.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.