• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Horizontally impacted wisdom tooth



Well-known member
Jan 5, 2009
One of my lower wisdom teeth is completely under the gum still and is sitting horizontally. I believe this is referred to as a horizontal impaction. How common is this and generally speaking, how difficult is it to remove these types of impacted wisdom teeth? I got a bit of a shock when I saw it on the x-ray because it just looks so wrong lying on its side like that. Even though it's not causing me any pain, I have been told it's highly likely to cause damage to the tooth next to it and really needs to come out but I am terrified.
The funny thing about wisdom teeth is that you can't really tell how difficult the extractions are going to be just from x-rays or looking, ones that look horrible can be dead easy and others that you think will be simple turn out to be little buggers.

Without at least seeing an x-ray here it's impossible to even guess what yours will be like :)

Horizontally impacted wizzies are fairly common though and generally aren't too bad to get out.
Thanks Gordon, I realise that each case is different and it's impossible to tell without seeing it and seeing the x-ray. It's nice to know that the horizontal impaction isn't something that's ridiculously rare! Now I just have to make myself pick up the phone and make that appointment with the oral surgeon and I will have to remember to ask him lots of questions when I have the consultation :)
Make a list of questions on paper and take it with you, it's much easier for both of you.
Unfortunately I didn't read your second post Gordon and it turned out to be great advice because when I met with the surgeon I got nervous and forgot everything I wanted to ask, except for asking about my problem with swallowing tablets (he is going to give me liquid meds so no problem there). As I feared, I was advised that the horizontally impacted tooth might be difficult to get out and that the surgeon is not willing to take it out with anything less than GA. I have chosen not to have it out as he advised all the others need to come out, but it's my choice for that one and the only problem it may cause is a cyst so provided I have regular x-rays to check for that, it is an option to leave it and have the other three out with IV sedation.

So my question now is, is it rare for surgeons to insist on GA for the extraction of horizontally impacted wisdom teeth? From reading posts on this forum it seems as though all sorts of cases have been dealth with under IV sedation, so I was a bit alarmed to be told that GA is the only option for this tooth.
Here in the UK there is strong pressure from our regulatory body to avoid GA at almost any cost.

So if a patient were actually requesting not to have GA, coming from this background I find it very odd that a surgeon would insist on GA :) Which really isn't much help to you is it? Sorry.
hi Jessica B i wouldnt like to have GA either, i dont see why you HAVE to have it, no matter how the wisdom tooth is, i would want to aviod that if possible, not because i think that there is anything wrong with it but because of my own fear, i am no proffessional but yeah it is a bit odd to not have a choice and to be forced to have GA
Thanks for your replies Gordon and Dentist Hater. There seems to be a very different attitude to GA in Australia compared with the UK. I know many people that have had wisdom teeth out under GA, and some who have been told it is there only option. The surgeon was also advising recommending GA for the other three 'simpler' extractions for my comfort, and that's what he would recommend for someone in his family. He said it's much easier for both the patient and the surgeon. I must admit I didn't really communicate my fear about GA when I spoke to the surgeon as he gave me a whole lot of information and then I got nervous and forgot all my questions. He wouldn't even quote on IV for the horizontal tooth though, so I know he was pretty definite about that not being an option in his opinion.
hey jessica, read ur problem of horizontal impacted wisdom tooth. well its exactly the same problem i m dealing with at present. my doctor asks me to get it out as it will create problem in future. but its quit unconvincing, i mean what if the tooth does not create ny further impression to the neighbouring tooth and remains harmless. so what i seek from u is if u can tell me ur present day situation with ur wisdom teeth. i mean has it caused u any problem or its fine. plzzzz i m in urgent need to take decision.o_O
I encourage you to get a 2nd opinion. The most important thing is finding the right dentist/os.
I have 4 horizontally impacted wisdom teeth that have caused a great deal of damage. I also need jaw reconstruction. I have seen multiple dentists over the years. All have said leave it alone. I have lost 5 teeth so far. Now I need surgical extraction. I am concerned because I am only allowed a student due to my insurance, have a violent cough at times and being diabetic, I don't heal well. I don't have any relationships because I am ashamed of my mouth. The last extraction they did got infected and hurt. Any suggestions?
JessicaB- I have no advice on the wisdom teeth, but for your pill issue try taking them with soda. The bubbles hide the pills and they slide right down.