Sometimes a tooth becomes impacted, meaning that it never emerges and stays locked in the bone socket. An impacted tooth can happen for a number of reasons, but the longer it stays there the more at risk you are of having complications. Call California Oral Surgery to make an appointment today or book online.
WHY DOES AN IMPACTED TOOTH EVEN MATTER?
There are a number of serious risks that come from ignoring an impacted tooth. Some of these include:
- Greater risk of infection
- TMJ problems
- Developing an abscess
- Trouble opening your mouth
- Tooth fused to the jawbone
- Risk of sepsis
Fortunately, the team at California Oral Surgery can perform a tooth exposure procedure. During this procedure, your gums and bone are cut open at the site of your impacted tooth and it is either removed or prepared for an orthodontic procedure such as a grid & chain.
WHY DO I NEED A TEETH EXPOSURE PROCEDURE?
An impacted tooth needs to be freed from its socket before serious problems arise. In fact, the longer you leave an impacted tooth the greater chance it has to fuse with the bone. This can create further problems for your oral health and can elevate the seriousness of the surgical procedure needed to free the tooth. Surgical exposure procedure allows our expert oral surgeon to access the impacted tooth. A small bit of your gums and underlying bone is cut away to reveal the tooth inside. At that point, it is either removed or the orthodontic process of moving the tooth into place can begin.
One procedure that can be used to help an impacted tooth grow into its proper place is a grid and chain procedure. During this type of procedure, the tooth is given space to grow using braces or brackets and an orthodontic device is used to draw the tooth in its proper position.
WILL I HAVE TO HIDE MY SMILE AFTER A TEETH EXPOSURE PROCEDURE?
Because of its name, many people are afraid their tooth and bone socket will be noticeable by others or that the orthodontic device will draw attention. However, most times that is not the case. If you are using the grid & chain method of moving an impacted tooth into place, your gums will be sewn around the bracket and only a tiny portion of the chain will be visible.
If your impacted tooth is removed, your gums will be neatly sewn shut so nobody will be able to see any exposed bone. In a few weeks after everything has healed nobody will be able to tell you had the procedure in the first place.
What causes impacted teeth?
Impacted teeth are those that remain embedded in soft gum tissue or bone beyond the time it would normally erupt. Sometimes impacted teeth are caused by overcrowding. When it happens other teeth may become twisted, tilted, or displaced as the new teeth try to emerge.
Impaction is often seen when the third molars try to emerge, also known as wisdom teeth. This is because wisdom teeth, which begin to develop around age 9, are the last teeth to erupt. For many, the wisdom teeth erupt sometime between the late teens and early 20s. But, by this time, the jaw has stopped growing and there may not be enough space for these last 4 teeth to emerge.