Utilizing Teeth Exposure in Texas
Optimal oral function and appearance depend on each tooth emerging into its proper position. Sometimes, though, a tooth becomes “stuck” and cannot ascend into its predetermined spot. When this occurs, it’s necessary to help the tooth by uncovering it and implementing safe, proven methods to facilitate movement. At Northern Texas Facial & Oral Surgery, we work closely with orthodontists to uncover impacted teeth and help to make a healthier, more attractive smile and a patient!
Exposing buried teeth
The most common teeth to become impacted are the wisdom teeth and the permanent maxillary cuspids (known as canine or “upper eye teeth”). The cuspids in particular play a crucial role in bite alignment. They’re the last of permanent front teeth to erupt—usually around the ages of 11 to 13—and they have the longest roots of any human teeth. Leaving these teeth alone to not erupt normally may cause unnecessary pain while damaging the roots and alignment of many teeth, especially the front teeth.
The other most common set of teeth to become impacted are your third molars or “wisdom teeth,” which serve no purpose in the modern jaw, and removal of impacted or erupted wisdom teeth (typically erupting at around 20 years of age) is typically the most prudent course of action.
These stubborn, impacted teeth are not likely to erupt on their own. That’s where North Texas Facial & Oral Surgery come in. Our doctors use cutting-edge technology and methodologies to uncover impacted teeth and promote optimal oral alignment and health. Working together with orthodontists, our doctors employ a plan of action that typically involves a surgical procedure to expose the tooth, along with the implementation of orthodontic treatment to guide the tooth into place.
Before the procedure, your surgeon will have discussed the appropriate orthodontics for your needs. This can include orthodontic brackets and chains, braces, or gauze with antiseptic to keep the gum from growing back over the tooth.
What to expect after the procedure
This is typically an outpatient procedure, with the operation taking 30 minutes to an hour and being able to go home the same day. Minor bleeding for the first 12-24 hours is common, and pain can be treated with over the counter medication. Minimize physical activity and eat soft foods during this time. Make sure your stitches are clear of food and debris by lightly swishing mouthwash or saltwater in your mouth after meals until they dissolve in around 3 weeks.
A follow-up appointment will be made 7-14 days from your procedure to assess healing and if orthodontic treatment may be started or continued. More appointments will be necessary for your continuing orthodontic care.