Exposure of Impacted Teeth

What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth simply means that it is “stuck” and cannot erupt into function. Patients frequently develop impacted wisdom teeth. These teeth get stuck in the back of the jaw and can develop painful infections.  Since there is rarely a functional need for wisdom teeth, they are usually extracted.

The maxillary cuspid (upper eyetooth) is the second most common tooth to become impacted. The eyetooth is a critical tooth and plays an important role in your “bite”.  The eyeteeth are very strong biting teeth. They are designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaws close together so they guide the rest of the teeth into the proper bite.  When the upper eyeteeth come into place, they cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close together.

If the eyeteeth do not erupt spontaneously, the orthodontist and the oral surgeon work together to help these teeth erupt. The oral surgeon will expose and bracket the impacted eyeteeth.  The surgery to expose and bracket an impacted tooth is a very straightforward  procedure and is performed in the oral surgery office under local anesthesia, nitrous oxide inhalation analgesia or intravenous sedation.