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Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is one that has not erupted into the mouth, but instead becomes stuck under the gum and within the bone.  The most common teeth to become impacted are the wisdom teeth followed by the canine teeth.  Canine teeth are important because they are the first teeth to touch when your jaws close and they help guide the remaining teeth into the proper occlusion (bite).  They are important for both esthetic and functional harmony.

Typically, the general dentist or orthodontist will identify the need for treatment of the impacted canine and refer you to our office.  Dr. Patel will do an examination and take any special x-rays to determine the position of the impacted tooth and the adjacent teeth.  Occasionally, a 3D imaging scan may be necessary to further assess the dental development before a definitive treatment plan can be finalized.

The surgical procedure known as an exposure is accomplished by elevating the gum tissue and removing any bone overlying  the tooth in order to “expose” it. Once exposed, Dr. Patel will attach an orthodontic bracket and chain to the tooth.  After the surgical procedure you will be referred to your orthodontist who will then slowly move the exposed tooth into its proper position.

You have several anesthetic options when undergoing the surgical exposure procedure.  During the consultation, Dr. Patel will review all the options with you and together you will decide what is the best option for your particular case.