Treat Impacted Teeth to Prevent Future Issues
After wisdom teeth (third molars), canines/cuspids are the most frequent tooth to become displaced or impacted. About 2% of the population have an impacted upper canine tooth, most commonly on just one side. A shortage of space including existing crowded teeth, a baby tooth that hasn’t fallen out, and genetics are reasons why teeth don’t fully erupt. If an impacted tooth isn’t treated, a lesion can develop around the crown of the tooth. This can become infected and cause damage by putting pressure on the roots of adjacent teeth. Surgical exposure in Beverly Hills and West Valley/Reseda, CA is a procedure in which our oral surgeon assists eruption of an impacted tooth through the gumline. Surgical exposures are performed most frequently on canine tooth and wisdom teeth, followed by impacted central incisors. At Synergy Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center, Dr. Vladimir Polyakov has successfully helped many patients restore full bite function and improve smile aesthetics with surgical exposures in Beverly Hills and West Valley/Reseda, CA.
If upper canine teeth haven’t erupted by the time your teen is 13 years old, it’s important to bring them in for a consultation. Early detection reduces the risk of additional gum abnormalities, while prompt intervention with a surgical exposure in Beverly Hills and West Valley/Reseda, CA lessens the risk of procedural complexities. During this initial appointment, we’ll take digital x-rays in addition to performing a thorough exam.
The Steps in a Surgical Exposure
When we perform a surgical exposure in Beverly Hills and West Valley/Reseda, CA, we offer sedation as well as a local anesthetic to ensure your child is relaxed and comfortable during surgery. Once your child is properly sedated, we lift the gum tissue on top of their impacted tooth to expose it. If a baby tooth is present, we extract this at the same time. Then we suture back their gums. Minimal bleeding, pain, and swelling are normal after this procedure. It’s important to carefully follow all our postoperative instructions for optimal recovery. For most patients, ibuprofen or acetaminophen provides adequate pain relief. If your child has any swelling on their upper lip, ice packs can be applied to this area. You’ll return to our office 7-10 days after surgery so we can evaluate the healing process and make sure your child is maintaining good oral hygiene.
Collaboration with Orthodontist
It’s fairly common to collaborate with an orthodontist on this procedure. If so, we bond an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth. The bracket has a tiny gold chain that is temporarily attached to an orthodontic arch wire. In most cases, we gently place the gum back in its original location and apply sutures, so only the chain remains visible as it exits a small hole in the gum. Shortly after surgery (1-14 days), your child will visit their orthodontist to have a rubber band attached to the chain. This exerts a light pulling force on the impacted tooth to help move it into proper position. This carefully controlled and slow process can take up to a full year to complete.
Checking Gum Health for Optimal Oral Function
After the tooth has moved into its final position, we evaluate the gum around the tooth to assess if it’s sufficiently strong and healthy to provide a lifetime of chewing and brushing. In some instances, minor gum grafting may be required over the relocated tooth to keep the gum tissue healthy long term.