Exposure Of Impacted Teeth
In some cases, impacted teeth need to be exposed for orthodontic bracketing. Teeth can become locked into the bone or gum tissue because of insufficient space. This most commonly occurs to the canine (eye) teeth. In order to correct this problem, the orthodontist will start by creating proper space. If there is no evidence of movement of the impacted tooth after space has been created, the orthodontist may request a surgical procedure called an exposure. An exposure is a surgery that removes a window of tissue so that a bracket can be placed.
At our office, a focal 3D Cone Beam CT scan of the area is taken to determine the exact location of the tooth. The discomfort after the procedure is generally minimal. After 1 to 3 weeks of healing, the tooth will be ready for the orthodontist to apply gentle pressure and slowly move the tooth into position.