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Fishbein Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Tooth Exposure

A tooth is said to be impacted when it is unable to erupt from the gums and into its proper position in the mouth. Bone and/or underlying gum tissue is a common cause for a tooth’s path to become blocked. Impaction can occur with any tooth, but wisdom teeth and canines are especially prone to impaction.

Most dental professionals recommend removing wisdom teeth whether or not they are impacted. Since canine teeth play an important function in the mouth, extra efforts are made to help the tooth erupt into its proper position. An oral surgeon and orthodontist will work together to expose the tooth and guide it into place. Exposing an impacted tooth is a very common treatment.

Canine Impaction

An impacted tooth can be confirmed with an X-ray or CT scan. As the last primary teeth to come in, canine teeth can become impacted for many reasons:

  • Baby teeth or unusual growths that block the tooth’s path
  • Poor alignment
  • (Rarely) extra teeth in the mouth

The canine teeth are the four pointed teeth at the corners of the mouth and are essential to the proper alignment, bite, and function of other teeth. Exposing an impacted tooth as early as possible is often the best choice. With regular checkups, your family dentist will monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth and will refer to an oral surgeon for treatment of an impacted tooth. Your oral surgeon will work hand in hand with an orthodontist to expose the impacted tooth. At Fishbein Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we want you to be as comfortable as possible. Local anesthesia or IV sedation are commonly used for the surgical exposure of an impacted tooth. Your anesthesia options and options for pain management following the procedure will be discussed and selected during your consultation appointment.

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