An impacted tooth is a tooth that is completely or partially stuck beneath the gums. Wisdom teeth and canines are the most commonly impacted teeth, but any tooth can become impacted.
While wisdom teeth are often removed whether they are impacted or not, canine teeth are important for aligning the bite and chewing, so they are not typically removed. If a canine tooth is impacted, your oral surgeon or orthodontist will work to expose it so that it can move into its proper place. Like wisdom teeth, when canines become impacted, it’s important to treat them as soon as possible. The longer a canine remains impacted, the more unlikely it is that the tooth will emerge normally.
As the last primary teeth to come in, canine teeth emerge around the age of 11 or 12. Exposing an impacted tooth as early as possible allows the greatest chance for the tooth to grow in normally. Your dentist can monitor the development of your child’s teeth with regular checkups and will refer you to an oral surgeon if an impacted canine tooth is suspected.
An X-ray or CT scan can confirm an impacted tooth. Exposure and bonding is a common treatment for an impacted canine. For this procedure, the orthodontist and the oral surgeon will work as a team. First, the orthodontist will create a space for the impacted tooth to grow in by slowly shifting the surrounding teeth into new positions. Then, the oral surgeon will expose the tooth by removing gum tissue and/or bone. A bracket with a small chain is then bonded to the tooth. Your orthodontist will use the chain to guide the tooth as it moves into place.
It may sound complicated, but surgical exposure an impacted canine is usually a quick in-office procedure with either IV or local anesthesia. It is normal to experience some discomfort and slight residual bleeding during recovery, but many patients can get back to their regular routine in no time.
Impacted Tooth Exposure in Russellville, AR
We encourage you to call Lakeside Oral, Facial and Dental Implant Surgery if you have been recommended for the treatment of an impacted tooth. We look forward to caring for you and your family at our practice in Russellville, AR.