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When your teeth grow into your mouth, they pass through the gums and emerge into their natural position. But sometimes, a tooth gets “stuck” and does not emerge into the mouth. If you have a tooth that does not fully grow into the mouth or only partially grows into the mouth, it is said to be impacted. The most common impacted teeth are the wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth and the canines in the front of the mouth.
The canines are the pointy teeth in the front of the mouth and have the longest roots of any human teeth. They are very important to the mouth’s ability to bite into items, such as tough meats, and play a critical role in the proper alignment of the rest of the teeth in the mouth and in the correct bite of the jaw. As they are usually the last of the front teeth to develop, many young teens rely on them to properly align the rest of the front teeth. A tooth may become impacted for a variety of reasons, including:
Overcrowding of the teeth in the mouth
The presence of extra teeth or the lack of normal adult teeth
Unusual growths blocking the tooth’s proper eruption
Inability of the tooth to follow the normal growth track of adjacent teeth
It is important to diagnose and treat any impacted teeth early to avoid misalignment and the costly dental or orthodontic treatments that are needed as a result of misalignment. To determine if a tooth is impacted, your doctor will perform a thorough oral exam and check for puffiness or swollen gum tissue, redness, tenderness, or drainage in the area of the tooth. The presence of any of these symptoms may indicate an impacted tooth. If an impacted tooth is suspected, the patient receives an x-ray to confirm its presence.
One of the most common treatments for impacted teeth is exposure and bonding. During exposure and bonding, the orthodontist and the oral surgeon work hand-in-hand to properly align the rest of the teeth in order for the impacted tooth to come in. The orthodontist prepares the mouth by moving the fully grown teeth into their correct position in the mouth, leaving room for the impacted tooth to grow into its natural position. Next, the oral surgeon will lift up the bone and gum that are on top of the impacted tooth to expose it to the rest of the mouth. Once exposed, the oral surgeon attaches an orthodontic bracket to the impacted tooth. The orthodontist then uses a very small chain attached to the bracket to gently pull down the impacted tooth and, over a period of time, move the tooth into its proper alignment within the mouth.
If you are in need of an exposure and bonding treatment for an impacted tooth, we encourage you to contact one of our office locations in Queensbury and Saratoga Springs, NY, to schedule an initial consultation. Dr. Condry and Dr. Kelling are board-certified oral & maxillofacial surgeons and look forward to caring for you in one of our accredited surgical facilities.
Northeast Surgical Specialists maintains two office locations in Queensbury & Saratoga Springs, NY, and offers various oral surgical procedures and treatments, including the treatment of impacted teeth. Drs. Condry and Kelling service all of Saratoga and Warren Counties including Hoosick Falls, Saranac, Lake, Queensbury, Ticonderoga, Saratoga, Glens Falls, Schroon Lake, Ballston Spa, Malta, Gloversville, Warrensbury, Wilton, Greenwich, Granville, Corinth, Lake George, Greenfield Center, South Glens Falls, Galway, Burnt Hills, Ballston Lake, Clifton Park, Fort Ann, Gansevoort, Mechanicville, Cambridge, Milton, Lake Placid, and Hudson Falls.
If you just want to ask a few questions, give us a call. You can find all the ways to contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you.