Surgical exposure of buried teeth

In some cases, removing the baby canine can create enough space for the adult tooth to drop into position. This would usually be done around 10-13 years of age. However, this does not guarantee correction or elimination of the problem. The tooth should be monitored and, if not corrected or improved after a year, additional treatment should be undertaken.

Surgical treatments exist to help bring an impacted canine or tooth into proper position. Selection of the type of procedure depends on which tooth is impacted, the degree of impaction, and the position of the tooth within the jaw bone.

  • Gingivectomy (Open Exposure) can be used, where overlying gum tissue is removed to allow the tooth to erupt naturally, or to allow the orthodontist to bond an attachment to it directly.
  • Apically positioned flaps are used to expose the tooth through the gum tissue, but also to create a healthy band of gum tissue around the tooth.
  • Exposure and bonding involves uncovering the impacted tooth and bonding an orthodontic attachment to it, then replacing the gum tissue over the tooth. The attachment is connected to a gold chain that is used to apply gentle traction to coax the tooth into position.