Impacted Teeth are teeth that are still under your gum line and have not erupted into the mouth. The most common teeth that dentists will have to aid the eruption of the tooth are the front teeth. Most times an impacted tooth will have an orthodontist and an oral surgeon working together to fix the impacted tooth. This process can be a slow one most times taking a full year for the impacted tooth to erupt into place. Every case however is evaluated on an individual basis.
How it’s done:
With the combined effort of the orthodontist and oral surgeon the tooth is able to erupt in the correct area. Each case is different but most will start with the orthodontist. They will put brackets on the teeth and leave a spot for the impacted tooth to go. If the baby tooth is still attached it may be left as a placeholder for the moment.
The next step is the oral surgeon’s job; most times this will include some general anesthesia to numb the mouth before surgery. The oral surgeon will cut the gum on top of the impacted tooth in order to expose it. Usually a bracket will be placed on the impacted tooth and a small gold chain will be attached to the bracket. The oral surgeon will attach the mini chain to the orthodontic arch and wire. Most of the time the gum is then sutured back into place with only a small hole for the chain to stick out. This procedure is usually scheduled for 75 minutes but it can vary based on a patient’s needs.
Shortly after the surgery usually within a few days the orthodontist will rubber band the chain to the wire and bracket this will create a pulling force that will over time pull the erupted tooth down into place. This process of pulling the tooth is slow and can take up to year in some cases. Each Orthodontic visit the impacted tooth will be pulled and tightened a little more helping it move into place.
Every Patients healing time is different and it is recommended to talk to your doctor about your surgery and what you can expect beforehand.