Exposure of Impacted Teeth

Why Expose Impacted teeth?

Most of the time, teeth grow in normally. However, some teeth become impacted when they are blocked beneath gum or bone and fail to erupt into their normal position. Wisdom teeth are the most commonly impacted teeth, followed by the canine teeth.

An impacted tooth can cause surrounding teeth to become crowded, misaligned, or damaged. Some patients may experience pain, discomfort, swelling, or bad breath resulting from impacted teeth.


Due to the non-functional nature of wisdom teeth, they are typically extracted if they become impacted. Other teeth, though, are vital for normal bite development and proper chewing function. Therefore, rather than removing them, we help to promote their eruption. Your orthodontist might refer you to us for a simple procedure that exposes the impacted tooth. Once the tooth is exposed, a bracket can be bonded to it, which with appropriate orthodontic services can help guide it toward its proper placement.

Early Recognition of Impacted Eyeteeth Is the Key to Successful Treatment

The older the patient the more likely an impacted eyetooth will not erupt by natural forces alone, even if the space is available for the tooth to fit in the dental arch. A panoramic x-ray, along with a dental examination, will help determine whether all the adult teeth are present or if some adult teeth are missing.

Treatment will a require referral to an oral surgeon for extraction of over-retained baby teeth and/or selected adult teeth that are blocking the eruption of the all-important eyeteeth. The oral surgeon will also need to remove any extra teeth (supernumerary teeth) or growths that are blocking the eruption of any adult teeth.

Impacted tooth success by patient’s age:

  • 11-12 years old – with space opened for eruption, good chance for success.
  • 13-14 years old – the impacted eyetooth will not erupt by itself, even with the space cleared for its eruption.
  • Over 40 years old – much higher chance that the tooth will be fused in position. The only option is to extract the impacted tooth and replace it with a crown on a dental implant or a fixed bridge.

Exposure and Bracketing of an Impacted Cuspid

Refer to Preoperative Instructions under Surgical Instructions on this website for a review of any details. Simply call Lake Pine Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery at Lake Pine Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Phone Number 919-249-4904 if you have any questions.