What is surgical exposure?
When most people think of impacted teeth, they automatically think of the wisdom teeth. However, the upper canines can become impacted as well, essentially becoming stuck in the palate area. In order to bring these canines down and into their proper position, we perform a surgical procedure that exposes them. This procedure involves making a cut through the palate to expose the canines and using a bracketing system to pull them into place.
Why is surgical exposure needed?
The upper canines are often the very last to come into place, usually erupting around the time a teen is about 13 years old. However, if the canines aren’t coming in at this time, it could mean that they are impacted. With the help of x-ray technology, we are often able to spot problematic canine teeth earlier on before it gets to this point. Early treatment of impacted canines is essential in a quick and effective surgery.
Who is a candidate for surgical exposure?
The best way to determine if your child is a candidate for surgical exposure is to have them come in for an exam and consultation. We will take x-rays to identify the upper canines and to decipher if they are impacted. The earlier your child receives treatment, the better off the outcome will be. Our goal is to provide your child with a full and healthy smile that they can feel proud to show off.
What happens during surgical exposure?
The surgery may seem a bit complicated, but it is actually quite simple and straightforward. We provide your child with sedation to help calm and relax them during the procedure. We then make an incision into the upper palate where the impacted canines are located. We place a bracket or brace around the canines that attach to surrounding teeth. Over time, these canines will pull down and forward so that they are in place to fill in the smile. Your child can expect some pain and swelling after surgery and should follow all post-operative instructions carefully for optimum recovery.
If you think your child might benefit from surgical exposure, call our office today and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to further assist you.