Exposure and Bracketing of an Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth simply means that it is “stuck” in the jaw and cannot erupt into the mouth. After the wisdom teeth, the maxillary canine (upper eyetooth) is the second most common tooth to become impacted. The canine tooth is a critical tooth in the dental arch and plays an important role in your “bite”, how your smile looks, as well as having the longest roots in the mouth.

If a canine tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch. Treating such a problem may involve an orthodontist placing braces to open spaces to allow for proper eruption of the canine.

In cases where the canine will not erupt spontaneously, the orthodontist and oral surgeon work together, exposing the tooth, attaching a bracket and chain on the tooth, and guiding the eruption of the tooth into the mouth. Performed in the surgeon’s office, the gum on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted to expose the hidden tooth and the surgeon will bond an orthodontic bracket to the impacted canine with a miniature gold chain attached to it. The oral surgeon will then attach the chain to the orthodontic wire with an elastic thread to provide traction (a pulling force) to guide the tooth into position.