While wisdom teeth are often impacted, other teeth can be impacted as well. An impacted tooth is simply one that has been blocked from entering the mouth. Because of the placement and difficulties of caring for wisdom teeth, many oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend their removal. Other impacted teeth can be brought into proper position through an expose-and-bond procedure – a process combined with orthodontic treatment that can bring the impacted tooth into its proper position.
What is "Expose and Bond"?
When patients visit an orthodontist to have their teeth straightened, space also is made for any unerupted teeth. If the teeth fail to erupt on the expected timeline, the orthodontist refers the patient to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) for an expose-and-bond procedure. During the procedure:
- The unerupted tooth is exposed.
- A bracket may be attached to the newly exposed tooth and connected to the patient’s orthodontia via a chain.
At a later visit to the orthodontist, the patient will have special hardware activated to slowly move the exposed tooth or teeth into place.
Why Expose Impacted Teeth?
The expose-and-bond procedure is oral surgery to expose an unerupted tooth. The following are reasons why the surgery is performed:
- If a tooth is not erupting due to its position in the mouth, and it is unlikely to erupt on its own.
- The position of an unerupted tooth could damage the roots of adjacent teeth if it is not relocated to its proper position.
- Cysts can form around unerupted teeth and lead to other health issues.
- Even if the tooth does eventually erupt, it can push other teeth out of position.
Learn More about Expose and Bond
To learn more about the expose-and-bond procedure, contact an OMS or discuss the possibilities with your orthodontist.