Orthodonology: exposing teeth
Sometimes, teeth fail to erupt on their own. This issue is most common with the upper canines. If this happens to you, your orthodontist will refer you to us. We will look for the tooth in question through your gums and affix a bracket and a metal wire to it. This will allow the orthodontist to move the affected tooth to the right place, between your other tooth.
1. If you have a letter of referral from your dentist, you can schedule an appointment with us. Please bring your referral letter, your ID and a list of any medications you take. Before your first appointment, you will also be asked to fill in a medical questionnaire at home.
2. Typically, we will first do an X-ray and then discuss our treatment plan with you. In some cases, we may have to make a jaw scan as well, showing the oral surgeon exactly where the tooth in question is hidden.
3.The assistant will schedule an appointment with you. If necessary, we will give you a prescription for painkillers, mouthwash and other medication.
On the day of the treatment, please report to the reception desk. The assistant will take you to the treatment room. You will be given an anaesthetic similar to that used by dentists. Please let us know if you are fearful of needles or injections, so that we can take this into account. We will cover you with sterile cloths to keep the procedure as clean and hygienic as possible. If you wish, the assistant can talk you through what is happening during the treatment. During the treatment, you may hear small noises. Sometimes, the doctor will have to cauterize (burn away) a small amount of gum tissue with a little device. This may produce a slight odour, but it should not hurt. Finally, the doctor will cover the wound with a kind of chewing gum to protect the rest of your mouth from the sharp edges of the wire and bracket. This should be left in place until you see your orthodontist.
After the procedure, the assistant will explain what you need to do:
• Take a painkiller
• Cool the affected area
• Start using the mouthwash after 24 hours
• Do not eat, and allow coffee and tea to cool sufficiently before drinking while you can still feel the effects of the anaesthetic
• Do not sit out in the sun
• Do not smoke
• Brush your teeth just as you usually would
Generally speaking, you will not need another appointment with an oral surgeon after this procedure, and the orthodontist will take over. If the ‘chewing gum’ detaches and you can feel the sharp edges of the wire and bracket in your mouth, you can replace it yourself by taking a piece of sugar-free chewing gum, chewing it well and covering the wound.
If you are concerned about your recovery, please feel free to contact us.