How You Can Start Preparing Now
Impacted Cuspid Surgical Exposure:
The last thing a parent wants to hear at their child’s first orthodontic consultation is being told that their kid has impacted teeth. Early detection is done via orthodontic examination, palpation, panoramic radiographs, and sometimes 3D CBCT’s. The orthodontist will formulate the best and most conservative treatment plan to help with the eruption of these teeth and prevent further complications. However, once the space is created by a combination of baby teeth extractions, expanders, and/or braces, some of these stubborn teeth are still not erupting and their surgical exposure may be warranted before they start damaging the roots of neighboring teeth or become ankylosed or stuck into the bone.
Here are some of the key advantages of surgically exposing impacted teeth and orthodontics:
1. Better Alignment and Functionality:
Early detection of any impacted teeth, especially the ones that will erupt last in sequence, such as cuspids, allows orthodontists to address the issue before it worsens. By creating space and surgically exposing and orthodontically guiding these teeth into their proper position, the highly trained orthodontic specialist can help achieve better alignment and function, avoiding serious complications that can develop if not timely addressed.
2. Reduced Treatment Complexity:
As soon as diagnosed, these problems need to be addressed with a sense of urgency. It’s often easier to manipulate and guide the impacted tooth into its correct position in growing patients while their jaws are still developing as opposed to mature adult patients. This early orthodontic treatment phase can lead to overall shorter treatment times and potentially less invasive interventions.
3. Preservation of Adjacent Teeth:
Impacted cuspids are notorious for creating havoc on adjacent teeth, potentially leading to resorption (shortening) of the neighboring tooth’s root structure. Early exposure and appropriate orthodontic traction can prevent such damage, preserving the health and integrity of the nearby permanent teeth.
4. Enhanced Esthetics:
Those prized “fangs” or eye teeth, canines or cuspids play a crucial role in the overall appearance of the social smile and golden proportions. Impacted cuspids can disrupt the symmetry of the dental arch and severely affect the smile aesthetics. By addressing this issue early on, orthodontists can help their patients achieve a more harmonious and attractive smile in the most conservative way, aligning their own teeth.
5. Improved Self-Esteem and Confidence:
Dealing with an impacted tooth in the front can impact a person’s self-esteem and confidence, especially during the crucial developmental years. By promptly addressing these issues, we can help improve a patient’s self-image and overall well-being. There is nothing better than one’s own natural teeth, even if it takes some effort to bring those teeth into alignment.
6. Optimal Growth and Development:
Acting fast the minute these impacted teeth are diagnosed can take advantage of a patient’s natural growth and development. During childhood and adolescence, the jaw structures are still malleable, making it easier to expand and guide impacted teeth into their correct positions.
7. Reduced Risk of Complications:
Impacted teeth, especially cuspids can lead to tremendous complications if left untreated, including infection, cyst formation, ankylosis, and damage to adjacent teeth such as extensive root shortening of adjacent lateral incisors. No one can hide their smile forever, or want a hole in the front, or a fake tooth on a retainer during their formative adolescent years, since implants replacing these teeth cannot be placed until completion of growth. Early detection, surgical exposure, and orthodontic traction can help minimize the risk of these complications and restore the beauty and functionality of one’s smile.
8. Long-Term Cost Savings:
It is far less expensive to treat these problems early. By addressing impacted teeth as soon as diagnosed, patients will avoid more extensive and costly treatments later in life. This includes avoiding the need for more complex restorative procedures such as bone grafting, dental implants or bridges to repair damage caused by untreated impactions.
In summary, early detection is paramount, most orthodontic consultations in USA are free, and the orthodontists are the specialists trained to identify and address such issues in a timely manner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child should have an orthodontic consultation by age 7 or 8, for these reasons, to detect impactions, growth problems, severe crowding, and harmful habits.
Surgical exposure of impacted cuspids or other impacted teeth through orthodontic traction and braces is the most conservative option and offers a full range of benefits, including improved alignment, functionality, esthetics, and overall oral health.
Here are some Questions We are asked During the Orthodontic Consultation when dealing with impacted teeth:
- Will I need to see another specialist? Sometimes oral surgeons or periodontists are needed to surgically expose these stubborn teeth, especially in more complicated cases. That means additional consultations and fees, unfortunately, but preserving your own teeth is always a better option than doing nothing or replacing them with fake teeth.
- How long will it take to see if treatment works? Within 6 months we should see some progress. Impacted teeth will mostly require additional time to be brought into occlusion, pending on their initial presentation, the higher and more tipped, the longer it will take for them to come into alignment. Dealing with impactions can sometimes increase the overall treatment length and may require additional interventions. Multiple radiographs are also needed to check the progress and status of the adjacent teeth’s roots.
- What happens if we pull and the anchor teeth are moving up/ It means your impacted tooth is stuck or ankylosed. Sadly, we will have to accommodate plan B, which means bypassing the impacted teeth and planning for extraction with replacement via implant after completion of growth.
- How much should I expect to pay for my treatment? What are the payment options? Since treatment is longer, more complicated and may require additional procedures compared to just aligning teeth it usually costs more, but it is justifiable expanse compared to paying for bone grafting, implants and crowns.
- Does pulling down the impacted tooth hurt? Is there anything I can do to prevent or minimize pain? Not more than traditional braces, usually OTC Ibuprophen or Tylenol for a few days after appointments help.
- Is it likely that I will be wearing extra appliances in addition to braces to help with bringing down impacted teeth? In some patients expanders are needed, in others, accessory arms or secondary wires are helpful as well, it all depends on the direction of pull and distance these teeth have to travel to be brought into the alignment.
- Are there specific foods I will need to avoid when I get braces? Anything hard, and chewy can break the brackets and needs repairs, taking more time.
- Can I be treated without braces? It is possible in some patients to do a hybrid approach, a comb nation of partial braces localized to the area where the impacted teeth are, address that first, then once the impacted teeth are brought into occlusion, scan for clear aligners and continue the remaining of the treatment with Invisalign.
- How often will I be expected to come in for adjustment and other appointments? When pulling on the impacted teeth, sometimes as often as every 2-3 weeks, once those are already in, not as often anymore, it all depends on what wires or aligners the patient has.
Contact Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists regarding Impacted Cuspids in Elmhurst and Downers Grove.
Call or text us at 630-279-5345 for a free no-obligation consultation. Dr. Corina Radu, our Board-certified Orthodontist, and our orthodontic team at Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists in Elmhurst and Downers Grove will answer your questions and treat you like family. Your orthodontic journey can be a smooth and simple process, and we will be here to help throughout the entire process. By the time you will unveil your new smile, you will know it was all worth it!