Pediatric Surgery Procedures

Exposure of Unerupted Teeth

Dr. Lamb performs a full range of pediatric oral surgery ranging from simple extractions to surgical exposure and bonding. The most common pediatric procedure they perform is surgical exposure of unerupted (or impacted) teeth. Impacted teeth are simply those that cannot properly erupt into the mouth. The most common example of this would be wisdom teeth, which frequently do not have enough room in the mouth to erupt, are not functionally needed and must be removed in order to prevent long term oral health problems. The second most common type of impacted teeth are maxillary cuspids (eye teeth), which are very important to a functional bite.

Surgical exposures are most commonly performed as a part of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Lamb will work closely with your orthodontist to develop the best treatment plan for you. The surgical procedure is relatively simple and most commonly is performed with nitrous oxide and local anesthesia, although intravenous sedation can also be administered if you would like to be asleep during the procedure.

The surgical procedure involves lifting the portion of the gum that is covering the impacted tooth, exposing it to the oral cavity. Since the baby teeth frequently remain in place during orthodontic treatment until you are ready for the exposure procedure, the baby tooth may need to be extracted as well. If the exposed tooth is not too poorly aligned, then this may be the full extent of the surgery. In most cases, however, a bracket will need to be bonded to the impacted tooth in order to facilitate its proper alignment. This step involves bonding a bracket with a small chain attached to the impacted tooth. The chain is then temporarily attached to the arch wire of your braces and will be more securely attached by your orthodontist. This chain will be used with your braces to achieve the proper alignment of all of your adult teeth.