Bonding and Bracketing Impacted Teeth

What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth simply means that it is “stuck” and cannot erupt into function. Patients frequently develop problems with impacted third molar (wisdom) teeth. These teeth get “stuck” in the back of the jaw and can develop painful infections among a host of other problems.

The maxillary cuspid (upper eyetooth) is the second most common tooth to become impacted. The cuspid tooth is a critical tooth in the dental arch and plays an important role in your “bite”. If a cuspid tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch. The techniques involved to aid eruption can be applied to any impacted tooth in the upper or lower jaw, but most commonly they are applied to the maxillary cuspid (upper eye) teeth. Most of these impacted eyeteeth are located on the palatal (roof of the mouth) side of the dental arch but they can develop anywhere in the jaws. As a result, a CT is often ordered to identify the tooth’s position.

Even though the procedure is commonly used for the eyeteeth, exposing an impacted tooth can be applied to any permanent tooth. In a simple surgical procedure performed in the surgeon’s office, the gum and bone on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted up to expose the hidden tooth underneath. The oral surgeon will then bond a miniature gold chain to it. If there is a baby tooth present, it will be removed at the same time.

Shortly after surgery (1-14 days) the patient will return to the orthodontist to begin the process of slowly moving the tooth into its proper place in the dental arch.