Under normal circumstances, your teeth grow into your mouth by passing through the gums and emerging into their natural position. But sometimes, a tooth gets stuck and does not fully emerge into the mouth. A tooth that is unable to fully grow into the mouth or only partially grows into the mouth is called an impacted tooth. The most common tooth impactions occur in the wisdom teeth, which are located in the far back of the mouth, and the canines, located in the front of the mouth.
If a tooth becomes impacted, it may be due to one of the following reasons:
- Insufficient space that causes overcrowding of the teeth
- The presence of additional teeth or the lack of normal adult teeth
- Pathological growths that block the tooth’s proper eruption
- The tooth is unable to follow the normal growth track
Patients who seek treatment and are diagnosed with an impacted tooth or teeth can avoid complications like misalignment or oral infection, which often result in costly dental or orthodontic treatments. To determine if a tooth is impacted, a thorough oral exam is necessary to check for unusual fullness of the gum tissue, and additional X-rays will be performed to confirm the tooth’s presence.
Exposure and Bonding
One of the most common treatments for impacted teeth is called exposure and bonding. Dr. Michael Kunkel works hand in hand with his patient’s orthodontist to properly align the teeth and allow the impacted tooth to grow properly. The orthodontist prepares the mouth first by moving the fully grown teeth into their correct position, which leaves room for the impacted tooth to grow into its natural position. Next, Dr. Kunkel will expose the impacted tooth to attach an orthodontic bracket with a very small chain. The orthodontist then uses the chain to gently pull on the impacted tooth, moving it into its proper place over a period of time. Occasionally, the orthodontic bracket and chain may need to be repositioned by your oral surgeon, Dr. Kunkel, to allow complete movement of the impacted tooth.
If you are in need of the exposure and bonding treatment for an impacted tooth, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Kunkel.