Impacted Tooth Exposure

What is an impacted or unerupted tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gum tissues due to an obstruction that is preventing normal eruption into the mouth. This can occur for a number of reasons.  If a tooth fails to emerge, or emerges only partially, it is considered to be impacted. Most common are problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth.

Canine teeth are the second most common teeth to become impacted.  If an upper canine tooth becomes impacted, every effort is made to help it to erupt into position because these teeth play a vital role in your dental arch and overall bite. Your canine teeth are the foundation of an esthetic smile and functional occlusion.

Early Detection

Early detection of impacted teeth is the key to successful treatment and may greatly reduce complexity, with the exception of wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth come in with recommendation case by case. In most cases your general dentist will identify the need for an a consultation during a routine exam. You may be referred if a problem is identified such as:

Treatment of an Impacted Tooth

A tooth which will remain in the mouth will begin with the removal of gum tissue and bone overlying the tooth. This will create access for Dr. Lee to attach an orthodontic appliance to help the tooth erupt. Depending on the individual case, Dr. Angie Lee might place a periodontal packing over the tooth where it will remain until your post operative appointment.

If a tooth is recommended for extraction, this may be due to a primary tooth still in position with a permanent tooth trying to come into the same space and/or permanent teeth that are blocking the eruption of the tooth to be brought into position. Normally, extra teeth which will or are impacted are recommended for extraction