Bracketing AN Impacted Tooth
An oral surgeon often works with other dental professionals to treat patients. Many times dentists and orthodontists employ our doctor’s expertise for procedures such as tooth extractions and exposing impacted teeth. A multidisciplinary approach to oral health is a great way to ensure that a patient receives the highest level of care possible. Bracketing an impacted tooth is used to help anchor orthodontic appliances and guide an impacted tooth to full eruption. This procedure is especially beneficial when children are going through tooth transition or when a tooth has trouble erupting in a healthy position.
Bracketing Impacted Tooth
An oral surgeon often times works with other dental professionals to treat patients. Many times dentists and orthodontists employ our doctor’s expertise for procedures such as tooth extractions and exposing impacted teeth. A multidisciplinary approach to oral health is a great way to ensure that a patient receives the highest levels of care possible. Bracketing an impacted tooth is used to help anchor orthodontic appliances and guide an impacted tooth to full eruption. This procedure is especially beneficial when children are going through tooth transition or when a tooth has trouble erupting in a healthy position.
Why Impacted Teeth Are Problematic
Impacted Canine Teeth (circled)
Most people’s teeth erupt normally through their gums, but sometimes, not every tooth erupts properly. Instead, a tooth can stay wedged under the gums and bone. Such teeth are called “impacted.” Upper canine teeth (or “eye teeth”) are the most commonly impacted front teeth. They become impacted if their deciduous (baby teeth) counterparts do not fall out in a timely manner, resulting in the canines being “stuck” in the gums and bone. The problem with impacted teeth is that they often cause significant bone loss, resorption of roots of adjacent teeth and gum recession. Properly erupted canines, in particular, are incredibly important for proper chewing function and for maintaining proper positioning of all the other teeth in the dental arch.
Exposing Impacted Teeth
A patient’s orthodontist or general dentist will refer the patient to Dr. Jackson to have an impacted tooth surgically exposed and bracketed so that orthodontic appliances can be used to help guide the tooth down to its correct position. First, any baby tooth that is interfering with eruption is extracted. After a path is cleared for the impacted tooth to have enough room to erupt, Dr. Jackson exposes the tooth and glues on an orthodontic bracket attached to a chain, which, in turn, is attached to the patient’s orthodontic wire. Several days after surgery, the orthodontist attaches a rubber band to the chain in traction, thus activating gradual eruption of the impacted tooth.
Exposing and bracketing impacted teeth is a procedure more commonly performed in children and adolescents. For this reason, Dr. Jackson frequently sedates the patient with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and sometimes oral sedatives to maximize the patient’s comfort during the procedure.
The Importance of Timing with Orthodontic Treatment
Most dental professionals recommend that children first see an orthodontist around the age of seven. This is when baby teeth begin to fall out and when permanent teeth begin to emerge. While every child’s orthodontic needs are different, seven is normally a good age for a professional evaluation. Orthodontic evaluations are important for detecting the possibility of impacted teeth, especially canines (upper eye teeth). Treating an impacted canine is much easier the sooner it is detected. Once an impacted tooth becomes established in an unhealthy position or left untreated where it is vulnerable to disease, patients may experience oral health complications or need to have the tooth removed. In most cases – except for wisdom teeth – it is best for a patient to retain as many of their biological teeth as possible.
Our oral surgeon, Dr. Jackson, works with many dentists and orthodontists in our area. If you have been referred to our practice, we invite you to schedule a consultation. We provide a compassionate and welcoming environment to all of our guests. Call us today to reserve an appointment!