Tooth Exposure for Impacted Teeth

Locations in Edina & Maple Grove to Better Serve You

Tooth Exposure for Orthodontic Assistance

When the dental industry talks about tooth exposure they are referring to an impacted tooth that has not erupted. The most common occurrence of this scenario is the third molar, or the wisdom tooth. These teeth often remain impacted and is either left or is extracted. Over five million people have their wisdom teeth removed, either pulled or extracted, every year.

The issue to address here is that if the tooth that is impacted is not the wisdom tooth, but another tooth that plays an important role in teeth alignment, in your bite pattern, and most importantly, in your smile. Let’s take a look at what might cause this unique situation and the possible solutions to get that tooth extracted. There are options and Dr. Pan will do what is best for you and that tooth.

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The Reasons behind an Impacted Tooth

Usually this is going to be an issue with either a child or a teenager as the permanent teeth erupt and the dentist can see what kind of a situation has developed. Often times, as crazy as it sounds, there is not always a logistical explanation why the tooth in question is stuck and can’t erupt into its common function. Sometimes some people are actually born with extra, unneeded teeth, and it’s possible that one of these teeth block the path. Or the impacted tooth is out of its place and another tooth is in the way. This issue needs to be addressed at a younger age to initiate proper treatment. The specific teeth that are of concern in this situation is either the cusped tooth or an eye tooth. Either of these teeth have an impact on the bite pattern and the smile as the youngster grows into both.

If Tooth Exposure Process does not work

Dr. Pan may initiate this process and the impacted tooth still will not erupt. At this point Dr. Pan and yourself need to fall back to Plan B. The tooth may be left where it is. Sometimes it even fuses to the jawbone. Or, if the 3D imagery suggests future difficulties, it may need to be surgically extracted. In seven to ten days the gum tissue is healed and any stitches can be removed. Now you are back to square one, a smile with a hole in it. A bridge can be made to fill that gap or you can have a dental implant placed to fill the space. Either solution is also common practice.

Different Solutions to Aid with the Tooth Eruption

Dr. Pan is able to use the Cone Beam CT scanner in the office to get a 3D image of the impacted tooth. Once that image is in hand a plan can be formulated.

The first scenario and a common solution is to place braces on the teeth in that arch, upper or lower, and move the teeth next to the impacted tooth to give it room to erupt. Once the tooth or teeth are moved and space is created often times the tooth will erupt on its own.

Through the monitoring of the process, if the tooth is not erupting, then the next scenario comes into play. The gum over the impacted tooth can be removed to expose the top surface of the tooth. A bracket can be cemented on to the impacted tooth and a small chain attached to the arch wire already in place. The chain and the arch wire will provide additional force and pressure to help pull or guide the impacted tooth out. It’s almost like a channel is carved out for the tooth to slide through. The objective here through this tooth exposure is to save the tooth, avoid any extraction, and get that natural tooth into its natural place in the alignment of the teeth. It’s hard to say whether this process happens quickly or even takes up to a year. Each case is different.

A front tooth is easier to deal with through this process because it has only one root. If it is a molar it will be more difficult because that tooth is both bigger and has two, larger roots that need to be encouraged to erupt.

The Benefits to You to have that Tooth Exposure

Dr. Pan and any other dentist you see will always do their best to keep any and all natural teeth in your mouth. This includes filling cavities, root canals and of course any orthodontic measures to improve natural alignment. So if the tooth exposure is successful you have a natural tooth where it belongs.

Dentists, and orthodontists like Dr. Pan, often times see patients that simply take their smile for granted. They don’t understand the impact that smile has on their everyday lives. That smile has been proven to affect your self-esteem and your self-confidence. Once patients have gone through the measures to have their teeth corrected via orthodontic procedures the light bulb goes on. Their smile now changes their personal circles as well as their professional engagements in the business world. Going through the effort of tooth exposure, although challenging at the time, plays a big role as the youngster grows. It is worth the effort to work with Dr. Pan to find the solution to coax that impacted tooth to the surface and join the rest of the teeth in that smile.

Suffice it to say, once the impacted tooth has gone through a full tooth exposure, that your young patient needs to be taught good oral hygiene practices to carry forth in his or her life. The health industry strongly suggests brushing twice a day for two minutes, slowly. Also, to floss at least once a day. This simple little effort on your behalf will remove daily bacteria carrying plaque and go a long way in protecting those natural teeth and your gums. It is also recommended that you see a dentist twice a year for regular evaluations to always stay in a proactive position versus a reactive, come from behind situation. Love your smile, it belongs to only you!

Meet Dr. Pan

Pan Orthodontics Philosophy

To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.

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Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.