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Tooth Exposure & Uncovery
Columbus OH

"Because we believe that great dentistry and great health affects your every smile, every conversation, every meal, and every kiss profoundly"

Tooth Exposure & Uncovery Columbus OH

"Because we believe that great dentistry and great health affects your
every smile, every conversation, every meal, and every kiss profoundly"

What is Permanent Tooth Exposure and Uncovery?

Permanent tooth exposure and uncovering consist of exposing impacted permanent teeth that have failed to erupt through the gums. Typically impacted teeth are assumed to be wisdom teeth that don’t erupt due with to overcrowding, overlapping with back molars, or being turned at an angle. However, it is not uncommon for one or more permanent teeth to not erupt through a child’s gums for a variety of reasons.

Who Needs Tooth Exposure?

Children whose permanent teeth are erupting but lack sufficient space for them to fully come in may need tooth exposure. It is extremely important to ensure all impacted teeth are given a good amount of space to grow in to ensure the harmony of the smile.

Wisdom teeth which are impacted are often simply removed, but more prominent teeth the front of the mouth and major molars requires for chewing and a solid bit need to be enabled to come in fully. Canine teeth can easily become impacted if the neighboring teeth do not provide the needed space for the full tooth to grow in. Also known as “eye teeth”, these teeth are used for biting and chewing, and should be saved if possible. Canines can develop the wrong position or may be behind other teeth entering the mouth, left with little to no room to grow in fully.

Impacted canine teeth are often camped in the roof of the mouth, behind other teeth. In other cases, the teeth come in along the natural arch, but only the tip of the teeth are showing past the gum line. You may be wondering why your child’s canine teeth are so small when only the tip shows and the rest is actually still buried under the gumline.

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Exposing Impacted Teeth

The procedure to expose a tooth that has failed to erupt into the mouth is called tooth exposure or uncovering. The affected tooth is impacted by the gum remaining over all or most of its surface, and sometimes the tooth may also be stuck under a bony housing. The treatment for this periodontal issue is to assist the eruption by making a small window for the tooth to erupt through unimpeded.

The patient will usually be administered a local anesthetic or IV sedation if necessary to ensure no anxiety or discomfort is felt during the procedure. The periodontist will expose the tooth surgically. The surgery will normally only take 25-45 minutes, depending on how impeded the tooth is. A small incision will be made through the gummy tissue to uncover the crown of the tooth, including the surrounding tissue as well. Some bone tissue may be removed to unblock the pathway for the impeded tooth if necessary.

Antiquated methods of tooth exposure required a metal chain being used over a period of weeks or months to “pull” the tooth through the gum. The advanced procedure we use for tooth exposure allows for the tooth to grow down or up into position on its own. The result is that the tooth moves through the tissue by means of remodeling of the periodontal ligament.

Once the tooth is exposed through the gum, a small bracket is attached (similar to braces), and it is quickly and easily brought into alignment with the rest of the arch of teeth in the upper or lower jaw. The time necessary for the tooth to erupt into the mouth after this procedure is usually 2-4 months, although it may take up to 9 months depending on the patient’s rate of tooth eruption.

Benefits of Tooth Exposure

In order to ensure the impacted teeth in yours or your child’s mouth are appropriately positioned, a tooth exposure or uncovering treatment may be needed. This procedure that can quickly and easily shift the impacted tooth away from its restrictions and allow the dentist to reposition it into place.

Patients with impacted canine teeth will notice a dramatic difference once their teeth are readjusted and realigned. These teeth are the cornerstone of the mouth and can make a huge cosmetic difference once properly aligned and fully uncovered. The facial structure of the patient will benefit as the canines provide support for the corners of the mouth while smiling and help keep the area above the lips plumped out and full.

Having impacted teeth exposed or uncovered will have major benefits for the patient’s long term dental health. When the bite pressure of the mouth is not evenly distributed among all teeth, it can cause some teeth to be overloaded and over time become damaged. Exposing the tooth will allow it to come in fully, providing benefits in the form of a complete and aligned arch, better biting and chewing ability, and a more perfect occlusion (bite).

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Brian S.

"There is absolutely nothing I would change about my experience! Courteous, professional, and caring are just a few of the words I would use to describe Dr. Stoner and his staff."

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"What a wonderful experience from the very beginning. The made me feel so comfortable and relaxed and put me at ease during the entire process. My procedure went so smoothly and I have minimal pain..."

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Ask us About Permanent Tooth Exposure or Uncovering

Once the procedure is finished, the periodontist will have the patient come back into the office for a follow-up visit to ensure the impacted tooth and the surrounding areas are healing nicely. It is incredibly important that the patient maintain a good oral hygiene routine to ensure a fast and healthy healing process. Treating impacted teeth early can help resolve issue and prevent further problems with your child’s bite.

Some soreness may occur after the procedure which can easily be alleviated using an over-the-counter pain-relieving medication. Brushing with a soft bristle brush and flossing carefully around each tooth can help keep the gums healthy during and after final tooth eruption, and cut down on the pressure and discomfort caused by new teeth coming in.

If you are interested in more information about tooth exposure or uncovering at Stoner Periodontic Specialists, give us a call. One of our team members will answer your questions and can schedule you for an evaluation. We recommend tooth exposure or uncovering for impacted permanent teeth in children, especially canine teeth.