While I was a Dental Assistant in the Air Force, I worked for many years in Pediatric Dentistry. One of the common surgeries performed aside from the removal of wisdom teeth was a surgery known as Expose and Bond.
While it sounds frightening, it really isn’t.
By the time a person reaches their teen years, all their adult teeth with the exception of the wisdom teeth should have come in. If a tooth remains impacted, that is near or below the gum line, cysts, tumors and infections can occur. The body can actually absorb the roots of the adjacent teeth, causing further problems.
What the Surgery Entails
If enough of the tooth surface is exposed from growth, a bracket used in braces is bonded to it. A gold chain is attached to this bracket, which will be attached to an orthodontic appliance.
If there isn’t enough tooth surface exposed, a local anesthetic is given, and the gum is cut away. It really isn’t as bad as that sounds. The bracket is then applied to the tooth and the chain attached to the appliance.
Tension is applied using the chain, and the tooth is “pulled up” into place. This surgery is over 97 percent effective, so it is well worth the effort.
Multiple visits are required as the tension must be adjusted and progress is monitored.
The gums heal in a few days’ time, requiring only over-the-counter painkillers. The pain rarely lasts for more than a few days. The patient may feel uncomfortable due to the tension on the chain, but will become accustomed to it.
The orthodontic appliance is rarely a full set of braces, so the patient need not worry. Maintaining oral health with the appliance and the bonded tooth is easy once the patient receives instructions from the doctor and his staff.
Source: Williams, Scheideman, Runyon, DDS, PA, “Expose & Bonds,” Fort Worth Oral Surgery Website, No date given