Exposure of Impacted Teeth

Although often the Wisdom Teeth, other molars can also have trouble growing in properly and occasionally need help. We often think of the Third Molars or Wisdom Teeth when we hear ‘impacted’ – a fancy way of saying the tooth doesn’t have enough room so it hasn’t fully grown in, or possibly not even erupted (come through the gums) yet. This can also happen to other molars, such as the Second Molars, although a similar treatment approach is taken with impacted Canine Teeth, or other impacted teeth.

In such a case, usually occurring before the Wisdom Teeth grow in, the patient may experience discomfort, pressure, and even pain that can mistakenly be thought of as stemming from Wisdom Teeth growing in. Upon examination, usually with the aid of X-rays, it is learned that the Second Molars are not fully grown in or may still be deep within the jaw, having yet to show through the gums. Since most patients have sufficient room in their mouths for the front 28 teeth, there is usually room for the Second Molars to grow in; they just need a little help.

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The dentist will often send patients to consult a surgeon, if the patient visits another general dentist, or the Praxis & Klinik dentist may ask one of the surgeons to come discuss options with the patient during the consultation appointment. The surgeon will explain the details unique to the individual patient, but the basic exposure procedure is fairly consistent in all cases. Under general anaesthesia, in most cases, the gums are opened slightly and the surgeon makes an opening in the jaw where the impacted tooth is hiding or struggling to grow in. For many patients, this opening is enough to allow the tooth to fully erupt. For other patients, a bracket may be attached to the impacted tooth to help guide its continued eruption.

Depending on other factors and circumstances, the Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth) may be removed during the same procedure, if there is sufficient evidence to suggest they will require extraction later or if they are, in some way, affecting the impacted Second Molars. As mentioned, this procedure can also be used with impacted Canines or other impacted teeth, in which case the need to extract the Wisdom Teeth will depend on the given case and patient’s needs. The procedure can also be referred to as ‘Uprighting’ in cases where the tooth requires re-orienting, re-positioning, or other guided movement to grown in properly.

For more information on Wisdom Teeth, extractions, and other treatment options, contact Praxis & Klinik today!


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Teeth Chart (PDF)  *Note: German Dentists use a different numbering system so the Tooth Numbers used in our Clinic will not match up with the American numbering used in this chart. The chart is explained in English, however, so this is a practical resources for our English-speaking patients.

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