You may need oral surgery if one of your teeth never came in properly. Most people think of an impacted tooth in relation to a wisdom tooth that only grew in partially or remained impacted; very often, that is what we treat in our Highlands Ranch dental office. We can remove your wisdom teeth so they do not create a health risk or push your teeth forward due to a lack of space. However, orthodontics providers also recommend oral surgery for impacted teeth, and here is why:
Some teeth never grow in correctly.
There are a variety of reasons that this happens, which can include baby teeth remaining in place for too long. If they do not fall out, it leaves the permanent tooth inside the gums, unable to descend unless it goes on top or behind the baby tooth. Similarly, if there is just not enough room in the mouth for a tooth, it may never descend.
What should I do with an impacted tooth?
Oral surgery is typically the best option since otherwise, the tooth will not come down on its own. We can either remove the tooth can or bring the tooth down with an orthodontics provider and oral surgeon working together. Surgically, the gum must be cut open to expose the tooth. At this point, the surgeon can bond a bracket to the lower portion of the tooth so the orthodontics provider can access it and begin to complete a procedure to slowly and gently lower the tooth into position. The orthodontics provider can let the patient know how long this will take.
Can I simply leave the tooth in place?
Yes, but it poses a clear health risk. In the case of an impacted wisdom tooth, there is usually an area that can trap food, making it all too easy for the back molars to become infected. In the case of a tooth that never descended, leaving it in place can lead to the damage of the tooth roots — the other ones. Essentially, this tooth could disrupt the other healthy teeth and create additional problems for them. The impacted tooth can develop a cyst or other conditions. Overall, this makes it important to remove an impacted tooth or undergo a treatment to help it descend.
What happens next?
Once the new tooth is in place, it may not be straight. In fact, it is rather unlikely that it will be. In this scenario, a patient may want to undergo an orthodontic treatment to straighten all of the teeth to complete the smile transformation. The patient may elect to do this with traditional braces or clear aligners. Both work well, but it is highly likely that the patient will have already been wearing braces to help pull down the impacted tooth.
The first step in this process is to determine if your tooth is impacted and whether or not you want to remove it using oral surgery. Remember that even if you want to keep the tooth, surgery will begin the process by exposing it. Colorado Precision Dentistry & Orthodontics can explain both solutions further when you come in for a consultation.
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