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 (see Impacted Wisdom Teeth under Procedures).  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.

Normally, the maxillary cuspid teeth are the last of the “front” teeth to erupt into place.  They usually come into place around age 13 and cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tighter together.  If a cuspid tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch.  The techniques involved to aid eruption can be applied to any impacted tooth in the upper or lower jaw, but most commonly they are applied to the maxillary cuspid (upper eye) teeth.  Sixty percent of these impacted eyeteeth are located on the palatal (roof of the mouth) side of the dental arch.  The remaining impacted eye teeth are found in the middle of the supporting bone but stuck in an elevated position above the roots of the adjacent teeth or out to the facial side of the dental arch.

What To Expect From Surgery To Expose & Bracket An Impacted Tooth?

The surgery to expose and bracket an impacted tooth is a very straightforward surgical procedure that is performed in the oral surgeon’s office.  For most patients, it is performed with using laughing gas and local anesthesia.  In selected cases it will be performed under IV sedation if the patient desires to be asleep, but this is generally not necessary for this procedure.  The procedure is generally scheduled for 75 minutes if one tooth is being exposed and bracketed and 105 minutes if both sides require treatment.  If the procedure only requires exposing the tooth with no bracketing, the time required will be shortened by about one half.  These issues will be discussed in detail at your preoperative consultation with your doctor.  You can also refer to Preoperative Instructions under Surgical Instructions on this website for a review of any details.

 Simply call Dr. Thomas S. Maring MD, DMD at Maring Surgical Phone Number 206-343-7500 if you have any questions.