Exposure & Bonding
Orthodontic Exposure & Bonding
When a tooth fails to emerge through the gums, it is considered to be an impacted tooth. This commonly occurs in the case of canine teeth.
It is important to treat an impacted tooth in order to prevent the improper eruption of nearby teeth, cyst formation, possible infection or other negative changes in the jaw.
In order to determine the correct treatment for you, your Dentist will examine your teeth and radiographs to determine the position of the impacted tooth as well as the condition of your gums. One of the treatment options is to surgically expose the tooth in order to guide it to the right position in your jaw.
Depending on the location, there are different methods of accomplishing the surgical exposure of your tooth.
The first option is to expose the tooth in order to allow it to erupt on its own. Once the surgery is completed, we may place a protective dressing over the surgical site while it heals. This method will allow the canine tooth to emerge until it is at the level of the adjacent teeth, after which the teeth can be aligned with braces.
The second option is to expose the tooth and then attach an orthodontic bracket to at the time of surgery in order to help guide the tooth to the level of the adjacent teeth. After we expose the tooth, we will attach an orthodontic bracket, which is attached to a chain and then replace your gums back to their original position. Only the orthodontic chain will be visible through your gums while the tooth is guided to its proper position. Your Orthodontist will attach the chain to your orthodontic. Once your orthodontic treatment is completed, minor re-contouring of your gums may be necessary. Regardless of which treatment you have received, you must avoid chewing on the surgical site for 2 weeks following your surgery. Avoid playing with the sutures or chain with your tongue or hands. You may start gently brushing and using a warm salt water rinse 24 hours after your procedure until the surgical site is comfortable and you can resume good dental hygiene, which is, brushing and flossing daily. At the time of surgery, we will provide you with the appropriate pain medication, or will prescribe pain medication for the post operative period. Surgically exposing and aligning impacted canines can prevent further damage to your dentition. In conjunction with subsequent orthodontic treatment, it can result in a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Information courtesy of AAOMS