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If you have an impacted tooth, a tooth exposure procedure can help it to properly emerge. Scott Goldstein, MS, DDS, and Peter Rosa, DDS, MD, FACS, are highly skilled oral surgeons who provide expert tooth exposures at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants. Schedule a visit today to one of their conveniently located New York City clinics in Bayside, Queens, and the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Booking your appointment is easy: just call either office to speak with a friendly team member or use the online tool.
Tooth exposure is a procedure to treat an impacted tooth. It involves cutting open the gums above your impacted tooth to help it erupt and move into a proper position in your dental arch.
An impacted tooth is a tooth stuck beneath your gumline. While impaction can happen with any tooth, it’s most common with your third molars (wisdom teeth) and your canines, also known as the maxillary cuspid or upper eye tooth.
Your oral surgeon typically treats impacted wisdom teeth with an extraction, since you don’t need your wisdom teeth for the proper functioning of your mouth.
Your canines, on the other hand, serve a critical role in the alignment of your bite. They’re the longest teeth in your mouth and are designed to be the first teeth to touch one another when you bite down, helping to guide your jaw into its proper position as you close your mouth.
Because they are essential to the functioning of your mouth, you don’t want to extract them. Instead, your oral surgeon will recommend performing a tooth exposure.
If you’re younger, there’s a chance that your impacted tooth will erupt on its own, or an orthodontist might be able to make space for it in your mouth by using braces.
The older you are, however, the less likely your impacted tooth is going to erupt on its own, even if there’s still room for it in your dental arch. This is because the tooth eventually fuses in place.
First, your oral surgeon administers a local anesthetic to numb your surgery site, then, they make an incision in your gum tissue above the impacted tooth. Once your impacted tooth is exposed, they attach a bracket with a chain to it. Then, they either leave your tooth exposed or suture your gums back in place.
After you’ve had a chance to heal, a rubber band is attached to the bracket and chained to a temporary orthodontic archwire, creating a gentle pulling force on your impacted tooth.
Over time, this pulling force gradually guides your impacted tooth into its proper position in your dental arch. Treatment time varies, but the process can take up to a year.
To learn more about how tooth exposure can improve your smile, schedule a visit by phone or online today with Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants.