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An impacted tooth simply means that it is “stuck” and cannot erupt into function. Patients frequently develop problems with impacted third molar (wisdom) teeth. These teeth get “stuck” in the back of the jaw and can develop painful infections among a host of other problems. Since there is rarely a functional need for wisdom teeth, they are usually extracted if they develop problems. The maxillary cuspid (upper eyetooth) is the second most common tooth to become impacted. The cuspid tooth is a critical tooth in the dental arch and plays an important role in your “bite”. The cuspid teeth are very strong biting teeth and have the longest roots of any human teeth. They are designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaws close together so they guide the rest of the teeth into the proper bite.

 

Early Recognition Is The Key To Successful Treatment

The older the patient, the more likely an impacted eyetooth will not erupt by nature’s forces alone even if the space is available for the tooth to fit in the dental arch. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a panorex screening x-ray, along with a dental examination, be performed on all dental patients at around the age of seven years to count the teeth and determine if there are problems with eruption of the adult teeth. It is important to determine whether all the adult teeth are present or are some adult teeth missing.

A referral to Shelbourne & Associates may be necessary for extraction of over-retained baby teeth and/or selected adult teeth that are blocking the eruption of the all-important eyeteeth. The oral & maxillofacial surgeon will also need to remove any extra teeth (supernumerary teeth) or growths that are blocking eruption of any of the adult teeth.

 

What Happens If The Eyetooth Will Not Erupt When Proper Space Is Available?

n cases where the eyeteeth will not erupt spontaneously, your orthodontist and the doctors at Shelbourne & Associates we will work together to get these unerupted eyeteeth to erupt. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis but treatment will usually involve a combined effort between your orthodontist and surgeon.

A 3 dimensional scan (possible photo of 3di imagery in this area) is almost always required to evaluate the position of the tooth relative the adjacent teeth and plan for the procedure. The most common scenario will call for the orthodontist to place braces on the teeth (at least the upper arch). A space will be opened to provide room for the impacted tooth to be moved into its proper position in the dental arch. If the baby eyetooth has not fallen out already, it is usually left in place until the space for the adult eyetooth is ready.

Once the space is ready, your orthodontist will refer you to Dr. Shelbourne  to have the impacted eyetooth exposed and bracketed. This is a very straightforward surgical procedure that is performed in our office.

 

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