What is it?
Sometimes teeth other than third molars may remain impacted. These can include the upper or lower cuspid (“eye”) teeth, premolar teeth or other molars.
The cuspid teeth are crucial teeth in the dental arch, as they play an important role in your bite. If your dentist or orthodontist notices that some teeth have not erupted at the usual time, an x-ray is taken to confirm whether the tooth is present and unerupted, or congenitally missing.
You may be referred to Dr. Freilich for a surgical procedure to uncover, or expose, the impacted tooth. This treatment also requires orthodontic management to gently guide the tooth into the correct position following the surgical exposure.
An orthodontic appliance is generally placed in the mouth prior to surgery, and the orthodontist sees you two weeks following surgery to initiate repositioning of the tooth. The surgical procedure is relatively minor. Depending on the position of the tooth and the patient’s age, the procedure may be performed under either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Self-dissolving sutures are used. Antibiotics are generally not required, but in some cases an antibacterial mouthwash may be prescribed. In most cases Advil or Tylenol are all that are required for comfort following surgery.
After the surgery, you may be able to visualize the tooth that has been exposed, but in some cases it will remain underneath the gum until your orthodontist gradually and gently guides its eruption.
Some patients will develop extra, or “supernumerary” teeth, that often are also impacted. These teeth can interfere with proper development or eruption of normal permanent adult teeth, and can in cases damage other teeth or give rise to cystic pathology. When supernumerary teeth are identified in growing children, it is usually recommended that they be removed before they have an opportunity to disrupt dental development.
Please feel free to call our office, 416 789-5335 if you have any questions regarding our management of impacted or unerupted teeth.