Impacted Teeth

At Hall Dental Centre in Lethbridge, we offer treatment services to expose impacted teeth and re-position them to aid in orthodontic treatment.

What is an impacted or unerupted tooth?

Impacted teeth and unerupted teeth are the same thing. These are teeth that have failed to fully pass through the gum tissues because something is preventing them from doing so. If a tooth fails to emerge, or emerges only partially, it is considered to be impacted (or unerupted).

Common Forms of Impacted Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the most common form of impacted teeth and they need to be removed.

Canines or eye teeth (maxillary cuspids) are the second most common teeth to become impacted. These teeth are the last of the “front teeth" to erupt and normally come into position around the age of 13. If an upper cuspid becomes impacted, every effort is made to help it to erupt into position because these teeth play a crucial role in the dental arch. They are designed to be the first teeth to touch when your jaws are closed together and help guide your remaining teeth into the proper bite (occlusion).

Other commonly impacted teeth include the second molars, bicuspids, and the lower jaw cuspids.

Early Detection & Orthodontic Consultations

Early detection of impacted teeth is the key to successful treatment and can greatly prevent bigger issues in later years.

Your dentist will likely suggest an orthodontic consultation during routine clinical and radiographic examinations for patients around the age of 7 years old.

The purpose of the orthodontic consultation is to catch and treat any developing problems such as:

  • Extreme crowding
  • Too little space available causing an eruption problem of adult teeth.
  • Extra or missing adult teeth

Treatment Options

Primary Tooth Extraction: A primary tooth is extracted when it blocks a 'permanent' tooth from coming into the same space.

Extra Tooth Extraction: “Extra teeth" (supernumerary teeth) or growths are removed if they are blocking the eruption of a permanent tooth.

Surgical Exposure: Removal of gum tissue and bone overlying the tooth to expose the impacted tooth underneath. Following surgery, we'll slowly move the exposed tooth into its proper position in the dental arch.

The Surgical Exposure & Placement of Orthodontic Bracket: Elevation of gum tissue and removal of bone overlying the tooth is done to expose the impacted tooth underneath. Once the tooth is exposed, we'll bond an orthodontic bracket and chain to the exposed tooth. The chain will then be attached to the orthodontic appliance where it will remain temporarily. Following surgery, we'll slowly move the exposed tooth into its proper position in the dental arch.

Permanent Tooth Extraction: In cases where a tooth will not move despite our best efforts, it must be removed. We'll discuss treatment options to replace the missing tooth in your dental arch.

No Treatment: If the tooth is left in place, we'll discuss treatment options with you

Will I be Asleep During the Procedure?

There are several anesthetic options when undergoing surgical exposure of impacted teeth, including:

  • Local Anesthesia
  • General Anesthesia (asleep)
  • Intravenous Sedation

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