Exposure of Impacted Teeth

What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth simply means that it is “stuck” and cannot erupt into function. Patients frequently develop problems with impacted third molar (wisdom) teeth. These teeth get “stuck” in the back of the jaw and can develop painful infections, among a host of other problems (see Wisdom Teeth under Procedures). Since there is rarely a functional need for wisdom teeth, they are usually extracted if they develop problems. The maxillary cuspid (upper eyetooth) is the second most common tooth to become impacted. The cuspid tooth is a critical tooth and plays an important role in your “bite”. The cuspid teeth are very strong biting teeth and have the longest roots of any human teeth. They are designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaws close together so they guide the rest of the teeth into the proper bite.

Normally, the maxillary cuspid teeth are the last of the “front” teeth to erupt into place. They usually come into place around age 13 and cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tighter together. If a cuspid tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position. The techniques involved to aid eruption can be applied to any impacted tooth in the upper or lower jaw, but most commonly they are applied to the maxillary cuspid (upper eye) teeth. Sixty percent of these impacted eyeteeth are located on the palatal (roof of the mouth) side of the dental arch. The remaining impacted eye teeth are found in the middle of the supporting bone, but are stuck in an elevated position above the roots of the adjacent teeth, or are out to the facial side of the dental arch.

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Early Recognition of Impacted Eyeteeth Is the Key to Successful Treatment

The older the patient the more likely an impacted eyetooth will not erupt by natural forces alone, even if the space is available for the tooth to fit in the dental arch. A panoramic x-ray, along with a dental examination, will help determine whether all the adult teeth are present or if some adult teeth are missing.

Treatment may require referral to an oral surgeon for extraction of over-retained baby teeth and/or selected adult teeth that are blocking the eruption of the all-important eyeteeth. The oral surgeon will also need to remove any extra teeth (supernumerary teeth) or growths that are blocking the eruption of any adult teeth.

Impacted tooth success by patient’s age:

  • 11-12 years old – with space opened for eruption, good chance for success.
  • 13-14 years old – the impacted eyetooth will not erupt by itself, even with the space cleared for its eruption.
  • Over 40 years old – much higher chance that the tooth will be fused in position. The only option is to extract the impacted tooth and replace it with a crown on a dental implant or a fixed bridge.

What happens if the eyetooth will not erupt when proper space is available?

In cases where the eyeteeth will not erupt spontaneously, the orthodontist and oral surgeon will work together to get these teeth to erupt. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis, but treatment will usually involve a combined effort between the orthodontist and the oral surgeon. The oral surgeon will expose and bracket the impacted eyetooth.

The goal is to erupt the impacted tooth and not to extract it. Once the tooth has moved into its final position, the gum around it will be evaluated. In some circumstances, there may be some minor “gum surgery” required.


Exposure and Bracketing of an Impacted Cuspid


What to expect from surgery to expose & bracket an impacted tooth

The surgery to expose and bracket an impacted tooth is a very straightforward surgical procedure that is performed in the oral surgeon’s office. For most patients, it is performed using laughing gas and local anesthesia. In selected cases it will be performed under IV sedation if the patient desires to be asleep, but this is generally not necessary for this procedure. If the procedure only requires exposing the tooth with no bracketing, the time required will be shortened by about one half. These issues will be discussed in detail at your preoperative consultation with your doctor.

Refer to Preoperative Instructions under Surgical Instructions on this website for a review of any details. Simply call Heise, Alpha & Delgadillo OMS at Heise, Alpha & Delgadillo OMS Phone Number 916-442-1882 if you have any questions.


Patient Reviews Write a Review


Heise, Alpha & Delgadillo OMS

5 out of 5 stars based on 35 Exposure of Impacted Teeth reviews

Patient Review By Linda S

Dr Alpha was very kind and friendly. I was at ease right away. My appointment was at 9:30 am. I left the office 45 to 50 min later feeling great and no pain. Dr Alpha’s assistant was also very kind and helpful. I enjoyed talking with her when we were waiting for my tooth to be numb. I left feeling great with no pain. No pain at all now 4 days later. Just an empty space in my mouth. Dr Alpa called me at home Monday evening to see how I was doing. Unfortunately I missed his call. He advised me to call the office if I had any questions or problems. I highly recommend this office! Thank you.

- Linda S

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Patient Review By Jack L

I had to initial my acknowledgement of so many possible side-effects of the procedure, and other things that could go wrong, that I was beginning to have second thoughts. But Dr. Heise did such a good job that, less than 24 hours after having a tooth extracted, I felt as if it had never happened. He prescribed pain meds, but I never felt any pain. I'm not sure how he did it, but I'm grateful he did. I hope I don't need these services again, but if I do I'll have no reservations going to Dr. Heise.

- Jack L

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Alan G

Dr Alpha is a highly skilled professional. He makes every procedure quick and easy!

- Alan G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Ruth N

Outstanding on service and care on day of implants.

- Ruth N

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By EREN L

Dr. Heise sets the bar for efficiency. I have had almost no pain from the procedure....which was my BIGGEST concern. Dr. Heise even phoned me after hours to follow up on my recovery, and make sure I didn't have any questions or concerns. I would definitely recommend this office to anyone in need of the services they offer. Thank you Heise & Alpha OMS!! Much appreciated.

- EREN L

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Patient Review By Debbie G

I have been treated by Dr. Heise twice in the past 2 years and each time I was so impressed! His skills are top notch, the results are perfection and best of all, I've had no pain with either procedure. The office is just what you would hope for: immaculate, state of the art, everyone you encounter is compassionate and professional. Dr. Heise has earned my trust. Thank you for making a scary situation comfortable and easy (for me).

- Debbie G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Wendie P

I am so pleased with Dr. Alpha he is amazing he made me feel comfortable and his nurses were A++++ the twilight they used was just enough to put you at ease I will recommend all my family and friends to see Dr. Alpha, amazing amazing

- Wendie P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Tyler T

Dr. Heise is very professional, knowledgeable, and caring. I went in for wisdom teeth extraction and was nervous because I had never gone under anesthesia before. However, the whole process went so smoothly. If you have to do any kind of dental procedure, come here! The staff are so nice and welcoming. He even called me the same day after my surgery to check in on me and I’ve never had any other dentist do that before. I don’t want to have anymore dental procedures done but if I had to, I wouldn’t schedule with anyone else besides Heise & Alpha. Thank you to the entire staff for making me feel so welcomed and at ease!

- Tyler T

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Frances S

Thank you so very much for such a seamless and easy wisdom teeth removal. I really appreciate the friendliness and kindness I was shown since I walked in the door. Getting my wisdom teeth extracted was always so scary to me, but this office made it as easy and comfortable as they could. I am so grateful for such a positive experience.

- Frances S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Susan D

The very best dental experience I have ever had in my 56 years. I will recommend him to anyone in need of oral surgery. This practice has perfected their craft.

- Susan D

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Sharon G

I have never had a Dentist like Dr. Alpha. He was so caring and concerned about my excessive anxiety over this oral surgery. This was the best dental experience in my life. I would recommend everyone to this dental office. Thank u everyone who got me thru today. Thank u so much Dr. Alpha.

- Sharon G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Jarmila C

I had a lot of anxiety about having to get my tooth pulled. Mimi made me feel so safe. She was so kind. Dr Alpha was so gentle. The Twilight they used was top shelf! I would give them 10 stars!

- Jarmila C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Trisha B

I have never been catered to by so many in this office. I came in initially with an emergency and I was taken care of quickly. I would recommend anyone to come to this office and have the confidence that you will be well cared for.

- Trisha B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Neil a L

Great staff,

- Neil a L

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Dave N

I have to say that my experience with this dental office was the best I have ever had. I was comfortable, treated with respect, very well taken care of by Dr. Craig and his associates! I highly recommend having your dental work done here. They are absolutely top shelf!

- Dave N

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Deborah D

The staff is friendly and ready to answer any questions that you might have. Dr. Heise is super friendly goes way and beyond to make your stay there as comfy as he can. I had a tooth extraction this morning with sedation and before you know it, I was done. I would highly recommend Dr. Heise for any oral surgery. Thank you all for your kindness, it was much appreciated.

- Deborah D

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Barbara H

Everyone and everything was done very professionally and friendly. I would recommend this staff and doctor. It was quick and easy

- Barbara H

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Brittany H

I had the best experience!! I would defiantly recommend this office to friends and family!

- Brittany H

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Jacqueline W

Great team. All done before Elton John finished his song.

- Jacqueline W

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Jennifer R

The best dentist I’ve ever had other than my regular dentist

- Jennifer R

5 out of 5 stars on