Sometimes a tooth or multiple teeth can fail to erupt properly, becoming trapped behind the gums, otherwise known as impacted. Structures that are blocking the natural growth track, overcrowding of the teeth, and other oral health conditions can all lead to teeth becoming impacted. While it is often possible for an orthodontist to clear the way for teeth to grow in, some cases require the assistance of an oral surgeon to expose an impacted tooth.
When non-essential teeth (such as wisdom teeth) become impacted, most oral surgeons recommend extraction as the best solution, but when other, more essential teeth cannot erupt normally, a new treatment plan must be formed. Canines or cuspids, for example, are crucial to the alignment of all the teeth in the mouth, and they also have a tendency to become impacted. In such cases, an exposure and bonding treatment is often recommended to save the impacted teeth and guide them into their proper alignment.
What is exposure and bonding treatment?
In exposure and bonding treatment, your oral surgeon will work closely with your orthodontist to expose your impacted teeth. While every patient’s situation is different, most tooth exposure treatments involve the following steps.
First, the orthodontist will likely use braces ensure that the teeth are aligned, and the growth track is clear. Once there is adequate space for the tooth to grow in, your oral surgeon will surgically expose the tooth by lifting the gum and removing any abnormal growths or structures blocking the growth path. Then, the oral surgeon will attach a small bracket and chain or band to the newly exposed tooth. This procedure is performed using multiple types of anesthesia to ensure the patient is completely comfortable throughout. You and your surgeon will agree on an anesthesia option during your pre-operative appointment. After a brief healing period, the patient will return to the orthodontist, who will use the bracket and chain to lightly pull the tooth into its proper place. Once all the teeth are aligned, the braces will be removed.
Treating impacted teeth as early as possible is crucial. If impacted teeth go untreated for too long, they can become permanently trapped behind the gums, making it impossible to save your natural teeth. If such cases our oral surgeons offer tooth extractions as well as a variety of different tooth replacement options to permanently restore your smile.
Where can I get treatment for impacted teeth?
Drs. Harris, Park, and Brown at Utah Surgical Arts offer exposure and bonding treatments at both of their convenient locations in Provo and Payson, Utah. If you or your child require treatment for impacted teeth, contact our office today for more information or to schedule your consultation. Our team will work closely with your referring doctor to ensure you receive the best care possible.