Surgical exposure of palatally and facially impacted canine teeth as well as other impacted teeth is a common procedure for us. (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 73:2273-2281, 2015). The most typical is a palatally impacted canine tooth that is not descending normally. The typical procedure involves opening up the tissues, removing bone and tissue to expose part of the crown, and placement of an orthodontic button and chain to use for the orthodontist to bring the tooth into proper position. If you wait too long, the impacted tooth may fuse in the bone (ankylosis/ankylosed) and then will not come in normally. It has been my experience that you usually have up to about age 30 to perform this treatment.

The health of the gum tissue on the younger population is typically very good and so the procedure is tolerated well and the gum tissues will typically heal well around the adjacent teeth. There are occasions where the impacted tooth comes up in less healthy tissue (this is common on lower impactions). In these cases we try to modify our procedure or we may need to augment these tissues at a later date with a gingival graft. All of these procedures have been around for a long time and have shown to be reliable and reproducible. This recent article did a study that followed patients undergoing this procedure and found as well that this is a reliable and safe procedure.

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.