Dental Tips Blog

Feb
18

Orthodontic Exposures

Posted in Oral Surgery

What is an orthodontic exposure? This is a surgical procedure that is performed in order for your orthodontist to access and put braces on teeth that may have been impacted or not have erupted properly. This often happens when teeth are so crowded that the permanent tooth doesn’t have enough room to erupt into the mouth. Instead, the tooth becomes impacted higher up into the bone and does not come into the mouth because it is wedged behind other teeth.

Teeth that commonly require orthodontic exposures are usually the canine (or “eye”) teeth. These are the 4 sharp-cusped teeth just on either side of the 8 incisors in the front of your mouth. By uncovering these teeth, your orthodontist can move the impacted teeth into the proper position with the rest of your teeth. It may take longer to move these teeth than it does others.

Typically an oral surgeon is the specialist that will perform this procedure for orthodontic patients. Your orthodontist will refer you to an oral surgeon and specify which teeth need to be exposed. Your oral surgeon will do this using anesthesia and pain management to keep you as comfortable as possible during the treatment.

After the tooth has been exposed your dentist can place braces on the tooth and bring it into alignment with the rest of your smile. You will normally wait a day or up to two weeks after the procedure before having your orthodontist place a device on the newly exposed tooth. It may take up to a year for the tooth to be completely moved into it’s proper place. If necessary, gum grafting may be used to cover any remaining exposed root surfaces after your orthodontic treatment is completed.

Posted on the behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery & Dental Implants

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