What is surgical tooth exposure?

One of the most common reasons for a tooth to erupt in the wrong position is when it’s blocked by another tooth and remains trapped completely, or partially, under the gums. For most patients, wisdom teeth are the ones that normally fail to erupt and since they have no real functional use, they are usually extracted as soon as they show signs of impaction. While this is a common issue for wisdom teeth, canine teeth can also become impacted and unlike wisdom teeth, should not be extracted, as they are needed for chewing and maintaining a proper smile.

If your dentist or orthodontist notices that your canine teeth are not coming out properly, you may be referred to Maxillo 3 Lacs clinic for a surgical exposure consultation. Orthodontists and oral surgeons work together to get patients’ teeth to erupt in the right position. Each case is carefully evaluated on an individual basis, and treatment usually involves a combined effort between a patient’s orthodontist and your M3L oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

The tooth exposure procedure

Tooth exposure is a straightforward surgical procedure performed at our M3L clinic in Vaudreuil-Dorion under local anesthesia, IV sedation or general anesthesia. It usually takes around 30 minutes for one tooth to be exposed and bracketed. All the details pertinent to your surgery will be discussed with you during your preoperative consultation with Dr. El-Hakim, Dr. Makhoul or Dr. Gigliotti.

During the procedure, the gum located at top of the impacted tooth will be gently lifted in order to expose the underlying tooth. Once the impacted tooth is exposed, Dr. El-Hakim, Dr. Makhoul or Dr. Gigliotti will bond an orthodontic bracket to the tooth that will have a miniature chain attached to it. Your M3L surgeon will temporarily attach this chain to the orthodontic archwire. Sometimes a surgeon will leave the exposed impacted tooth completely uncovered but most of the time, the gum will be sutured back in place in its original location with only the chain visible as it exits the gum.

After the healing process is completed, your orthodontist will carefully start moving the tooth using the attached chain to slowly “pull” the tooth down towards its new position. Depending on the original position of the tooth, it can take several months for the whole process to be fully completed.

It is important that you are in good general health and that no existing conditions undermine your surgery or post-op recovery. Your M3L oral and maxillofacial surgeon will discuss the procedure with you and review your general and oral health history ahead of time. You will also discuss any specific medications you are taking and special considerations will be made for patients who are feeling anxious or experience dental fear.

Tooth exposure surgery recovery tips

  • You can expect a limited amount of bleeding from the surgical site after surgery.
  • Patients find Tylenol or Advil to be more than adequate to manage any discomfort they may have.
  • Pain or discomfort should subside within two to three days after surgery
  • Swelling can be minimized by applying ice packs for the afternoon after surgery.
  • A soft, non-chewing diet is recommended initially.
  • You can slowly resume your normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable chewing.
  • Avoid sharp food items, like crackers and chips, as long as the surgical site is not fully healed.
  • Don’t forget to schedule a visit with your orthodontist 7 to 14 days after the surgical exposure procedure

The experienced team at Maxillo 3 Lacs is committed to providing the very best surgical care to our patients, complemented by exceptional customer service. A treatment plan that meets your needs will be devised in partnership between you, your orthodontist and the M3L surgical team.

Contact our M3L office today to set up your consultation. Call (514) 395-9896 or contact us using our online form.

Implantology and Maxillofacial Surgery Center

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