Exposure of Teeth

A young patient can develop teeth which do not follow the normal eruption pattern. Some teeth can erupt in an unusual direction, which leads to their failure to erupt into the mouth properly. Upper eye teeth/canine teeth are the most common teeth which erupt abnormally. In many cases, the orthodontist will request that these teeth be exposed. The teeth are underneath the soft tissue and bone. Therefore, a window is created in the tissue to uncover the tooth. The area can be left to heal with a dressing to prevent tissue from re-covering the tooth; or an orthodontic attachment can be placed onto the tooth to permit the orthodontist to redirect the tooth to its proper location. Generally, the procedure is accomplished under a sedation/anesthetic although local anesthetic alone can be used in specific cases. Postoperative instructions will be given at the time of the procedure to describe the specific care and followup appointments required.