Orthodontic Procedures

Exposure of Impacted Teeth

We know that third molars, or wisdom teeth, are often impacted, or blocked, from entering the mouth
normally. But did you know that other teeth may be impacted as well? For example, it is not uncommon for
one or both canine teeth, also known as “eyeteeth,” to be impacted. The good news is that your orthodontist,
with the help of an oral and facial surgeon, can bring the impacted tooth through the gum and into the
correct position – giving you a beautiful, healthy smile.
Before your orthodontist can reposition the impacted tooth, you must be fitted with braces so that enough
space may be opened up to allow the tooth to come down into the proper position. When the orthodontist
determines the time is right, you will be referred to an oral and facial surgeon, who will surgically expose the
impacted tooth and affix a special brace that the orthodontist will attach to your braces to move the tooth
into position.
The surgical procedure to expose and bracket an impacted tooth is usually performed in the oral and facial
surgeon’s office using an anesthetic that is appropriate for your procedure. Once the surgical site has healed,
you can return to your orthodontist to have the tooth repositioned into its proper place in your mouth.


The word “frenum” is defined as a small fold of tissue that secures or restricts the motion of a movable
organ in the body. Frena may be found in the brain, digestive tract and, most notably, in the mouth. Several
frena are located in the mouth: under the tongue, inside the upper lip, inside the lower lip, and connecting
the cheeks to the gum.
Frena can affect speech, tooth position and gum health. In addition, they may cause gums to recede and
keep teeth apart. In these cases, your dentist, orthodontist or pediatrician may refer you to an oral and facial
surgeon, who can determine whether a procedure called a frenectomy is necessary to correct the problem
and restore proper function to the tongue and lips.
The frenectomy is usually performed in the oral and facial surgery office using an anesthetic that is appropriate
for your procedure. Using a scalpel, electrocautery or a laser, the surgeon cuts the frenum to loosen the
connection and extend the range of motion, or removes the frenulum entirely. The surgery can be done in as
little as 10 to 15 minutes.

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