Impacted Canines (Expose and Bond)
Just like wisdom teeth, sometimes the maxillary cuspid (upper eyetooth) can become impacted. Normally, the maxillary cuspid teeth are the last of the front teeth to erupt into place.
They usually come into place around age 13 years and cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tighter together. If a cuspid tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch.
Treating Impacted Teeth
Treating such a problem may involve an orthodontist placing braces to open spaces to allow for proper eruption of the adult teeth. Treatment may also require referral to an oral surgeon for extraction of over-retained baby teeth and/or selected adult teeth that are blocking the eruption of the all-important eyeteeth.
The oral surgeon will also need to remove any extra teeth (supernumerary teeth) or growths that are blocking the eruption of any of the adult teeth.
If the eruption path is cleared and the space is opened up by age 11-12, there is a good chance the impacted eyetooth will erupt with nature’s help alone. If the eyetooth is allowed to develop too much (age 13-14), the impacted eyetooth will not erupt by itself even with the space cleared for its eruption.
In this case, the only option is to extract the impacted tooth and consider an alternate treatment to replace it in the dental arch (crown on a dental implant or a fixed bridge).
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What To Expect From Surgery
The surgery to expose and bracket an impacted tooth is a procedure performed by Dr. Gregory Michaels in his Lancaster office. For some patients, it is accomplished using laughing gas and local anesthesia.
In other cases, it will be performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure is generally scheduled for 45 minutes. You can expect a limited amount of bleeding from the surgical sites.
Although there will be some discomfort, most patients find Tylenol or Advil will be more than adequate to manage any pain they may have. There may be some swelling from holding the lip up to visualize the surgical site; it can be minimized by applying ice packs to the lip the afternoon of surgery.
A soft, bland diet is recommended at first, but you may resume your normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable chewing. You should avoid crunchy food like crackers and chips, as they will irritate the surgical site during initial healing.
Dr. Gregory Michaels will see you seven to ten days after surgery to evaluate the healing process and make sure you are maintaining good oral hygiene. You need to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist following this procedure to begin moving the impacted teeth.