Tooth exposure surgery refers to a procedure which is performed in cases where a tooth has failed to erupt properly. Most often, the procedure is performed when a tooth has been blocked from erupting because of dental crowding, or when a baby tooth has not fallen out, preventing an adult tooth from erupting. Tooth exposure surgery can be done in our office even if you have braces.

Exposure of impacted teeth

What is an impacted (unerupted) tooth?

An impacted (unerupted) tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gum tissues as something (dense soft tissue, bone, tooth malposition, cysts, or another tooth) prevents its normal eruption into the mouth. If a tooth fails to emerge, or emerges only partially, it is considered to be impacted. Patients frequently develop problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth, which are the most common form of impacted teeth that need removal.

Tooth exposure is a simple surgical procedure performed in our office, the gum on top of the impacted tooth is lifted to expose the hidden tooth. If a baby tooth is present, it will be removed at the same time.

How long does it take for a tooth to come down after exposure?

If there are braces the dentist will use the attached chain to gently “pull” the tooth down and into position. This process can take several months depending on the original position of the tooth. Rarely, the tooth may be ankylosed (fused to the bone) and may not come through the gum as planned.

Once the tooth is exposed, the dentist bonds an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth (when necessary).

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