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Tooth Exposures in Enniskillen

When a tooth gets stuck and can't break through the gum correctly, it's known as an impacted tooth. When this occurs, it means that the tooth is unable to do its job properly as a regular biting tooth. Wisdom teeth and canine teeth are the most common to get stuck and usually need to either be helped into their proper place or removed by a simple surgical procedure known as a tooth exposure.

Wisdom teeth are notorious in the dental world and for the most part their only real purpose these days seems to be causing havoc inside the mouth! There was a time when these powerful teeth were needed for chewing raw meat, roots and other tough foods, nowadays we eat a relatively soft diet and have a lot of extra help with dental care, meaning wisdom teeth aren't needed like they used to be, as a result of this human jaws have also become much smaller and narrower.

When a wisdom tooth becomes stuck, the temptation might be to do nothing at all, but the reality is, doing nothing can lead to a variety of dental problems. These problems could include painful infections, nearby teeth moving out of alignment leading to changes in the jaw, cysts and so on.

Canines are the most important teeth in our mouths, this is because they are the strongest, so if they get stuck it is vitally important that they are helped along their way into their correct position by carrying out a tooth exposure.

Why are canine teeth so important?

  • They close gaps – Canines are the last of the front teeth to erupt and close the gaps between the other upper teeth.
  • They are the first teeth to touch – canines are biting teeth; they should touch first when the jaw closes and help guide the other teeth into position.
  • Alignment and function – Canine teeth help to correct alignment and function of the other teeth on the dental arch. Missing or impacted canines can significantly affect the function and aesthetic appearance of the smile.

When a tooth becomes impacted there are usually two options available:

  1. Our oral surgeon will make a small incision to lift the gum from around the tooth which will allow it to fully erupt on its own.
  2. Our oral surgeon will uncover the tooth with a small incision and then attach a bracket or chain to it which will help to guide the tooth down during orthodontic treatment.

What should I expect following a tooth exposure?

After having this treatment carried out it is important not to disturb the wound, a surgical dressing may be placed which will help to keep the tooth exposed. If this dressing falls out don't panic, please contact the practice directly for instruction.

It is perfectly normal to experience some bleeding or blood in the saliva after having this treatment carried out, if this becomes excessive try to control the bleeding by biting on a gauze pad placed on the area for 30 minutes. If the bleeding persists, please contact the practice for further instruction.

Slight swelling is also very much normal after this procedure, to relieve this apply an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time to the area within the first 24 hours.

Some tips to make healing easier

  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid overly hot liquids or hard foods
  • Take over the counter painkillers when the anaesthetic wears off
  • Cleanliness is essential to proper healing, brush your teeth as usual beginning the day after the treatment. Rinse with warm salt water frequently until healing is complete.
  • Keep exercise and physical activity to a minimum for a few days following your treatment as this can increase the chances of throbbing or bleeding in the area.