Canine Exposure Surgery – A Brief Guide

October 15, 2023

Canines, also known as cuspids, are essential for tearing food and speaking clearly. Usually, they pop up between ages 11 and 13 years, but sometimes they do not appear as they should. Do not worry; we have a solution for this: canine exposure surgery! Yes, did you think only impacted wisdom teeth could be treated? Think again!

Understanding Impacted Canines

Usually, when impacted teeth are discussed, our minds go straight to wisdom teeth. However, there are instances when your canines might not get enough time or space to grow, and they get stuck in the wrong position. This leads to various issues, including pericoronitis (an infection), aesthetic concerns, and even oral pathologies such as cysts or tumors. Fortunately, we can help you out!

Canine Exposing Procedure

Exposing impacted canines is a surgical procedure commonly referred to as forced traction. It is done to unveil a that has not erupted.

Techniques Used For Exposing Impacted Teeth

There are 2 ways it is done:

  • Open exposure and eruption: This process involves taking out a small part of the gum tissues that are covering the tooth.
  • Closed exposure and eruption with chain: The dentist will lift the part of your gum to expose the tooth and place a chain on it.

Why Is Exposure Necessary?

Exposing impacted canines is essential to prevent potential problems written below:

  1. Pericoronitis: It is the emergence of a painful infection that occurs when the gum around a partially erupted tooth undergoes inflammation.
  2. Aesthetic Purpose: An unexposed canine creates a gap in your smile, affecting your appearance.
  3. Pathologies: Rarely, cysts or tumors may develop on the impacted tooth.

Alternative Treatments

If detected early, your dentist can choose less invasive treatments to avoid extensive exposure. This includes:

  1. Extraction of Primary Tooth: Removing baby teeth can easily make way for the impacted tooth’s eruption.
  2. Palate Expansion: Creating more space in the mouth facilitates proper growth of impacted teeth.

What to Expect After Surgery?

After the surgical exposure, you must follow these specific guidelines for healing:

  • Bleeding: Some amount of bleeding is considered normal immediately after the procedure. All you need to do is apply gentle pressure with a gauze pad, and if it still persists, use a moistened tea bag.
  • Swelling: Expect swelling; it is normal. Applying ice packs can help control it during the first day or two.
  • Diet: Stick to soft foods such as ice cream, pudding, and soups on D-day and the day after your procedure.
  • Pain: It is best to keep up with prescribed medication, preferably before the anesthesia wears off. Continue as needed, and report any unusual side effects.
  • Oral Hygiene: Brush normally, but rinsing or spitting on the day of surgery is a no-no. Once you pass the 24-hour mark, rinse with warm salt water and maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Activity: Rest as much as you can immediately after getting off the dentist’s chair. Avoid heavy exercise or excessive chewing or biting.

Final Note

Impacted canines may seem daunting at first, but with surgical exposure, you can ensure they find their perfect place in your smile. Make note that early detection and treatment can make the process smoother. Perio Health Professionals are dedicated to providing you with optimal oral health. Contact us at (713) 783-5442 or give us a visit at 3400 S Gessner Rd # 102, Houston, TX 77063, United States, for treatment!

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