Your teeth grow into your mouth by erupting through the gums into their natural position. Sometimes, though, a tooth gets stuck and does not properly emerge. When a tooth does not emerge or only partially grows into the mouth, it is impacted. The most common impacted teeth are the wisdom teeth and the canines.
The canines, which are the pointy teeth in the front of the mouth, have the longest roots of any human teeth. They are very important in our ability to bite into items, like tough meats, and play a critical role in the proper alignment of the rest of the teeth, as well as in the correct bite of the jaw. They are usually the last of the front teeth to develop; therefore, young teens often rely on them to align the rest of their front teeth properly.
A tooth may become impacted for a variety of reasons:
- Inability of the tooth to follow the normal growth track of adjacent teeth
- Overcrowding of the teeth in the mouth
- The presence of extra teeth or the lack of normal adult teeth
- Unusual growths blocking the tooth’s proper eruption
It is important to diagnose and treat any impacted teeth early to avoid misalignment and the costly dental or orthodontic treatments needed as a result. To determine if you have an impacted tooth, your doctor will perform a thorough oral exam and check for puffiness or swollen gum tissue, redness, tenderness, or drainage in the area of the tooth. The presence of any of these symptoms may indicate an impacted tooth. If an impacted tooth is suspected, an X-ray will confirm its presence.
Exposure and Bonding
One of the most common treatments for impacted teeth is exposure and bonding. This treatment is commonly performed when a child’s canines do not properly erupt into the mouth. During these procedures, the orthodontist and the oral surgeon work together to properly align the rest of the teeth for the impacted tooth to come in. First, the orthodontist prepares the mouth by moving the fully grown teeth into their correct position, leaving room for the impacted tooth to grow into its natural position. Then the oral surgeon will expose the impacted tooth by lifting up the bone and gum covering the impacted tooth. Once exposed, the oral surgeon attaches an orthodontic bracket to the impacted tooth. The orthodontist then uses a very small chain attached to the bracket to gently pull the impacted tooth and, over time, move the tooth into its proper alignment within the arch.
If you have an impacted tooth and are in need of exposure and bonding treatment, we encourage you to contact our office location in Elkins Park, PA, to schedule an initial consultation. Drs. Funt and Mogyoros are board-certified oral & maxillofacial surgeons and look forward to caring for you in our accredited surgical facility.
Where can I get impacted teeth exposed near Philadelphia?
The surgeons at Greater Philadelphia Oral Surgery located in Elkins Park, PA, are specialists in performing oral and maxillofacial procedures and treatments, including the exposure of impacted teeth. Drs. Mogyoros and Funt service the entire greater Philadelphia area.