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Tooth Uncovery

Sometimes a tooth doesn’t erupt through the gums the way it’s supposed to, resting below the gum line. While this doesn’t sound particularly serious in itself, this can lead to a number of painful oral health problems such as crowding of teeth that are already present, infection, and even periodontal disease. Some patients find out they have a problem because they notice an increased sense of pressure in a certain area of the mouth or sensitivity in a spot where they never previously had a problem. Other times, patients discover they have this problem during a comprehensive oral examination or a radiographic examination, when the incipient tooth shows up.

Uncovering or exposing a tooth may sound like a scary proposition, but in actuality it’s usually minimally invasive and virtually pain-free. Just like when baby teeth give way to adult teeth, some adults get more than the usual “one to a customer” set of teeth. However, the mature teeth that are already present get in the way of the proper eruption of the new teeth. In situations like this, the incipient tooth has to have somewhere to go. By creating a window or small gap into which the new tooth can grow without crowding the teeth around it, the problem is solved.

The method Dr. Andrade uses allows the tooth to grow into its space naturally without obstruction. This process usually takes around twelve to sixteen weeks, but it is not unheard of for the new tooth to take up to nine months to fully erupt. While this may sound like a long time, it is better and less invasive for the oral structures and tissues and the patients than the alternative method, which involves a chain attachment system to draw the tooth out of the gingival (gum) tissue and the anchoring bone. This method can cause more damage and unnecessary pain.

Using the natural method of permitting the tooth to erupt after uncovery not only allows a more beautiful smile with minimal distress to the patient, but lets the tooth grow and mature the way teeth are designed to. This is advantageous because it means the tooth will be healthier and more stable after it grows fully into position than if it’s forced, as by the chain attachment system.

If you’re experiencing pressure or unusual sensitivity in an area of your mouth you never noticed a problem with before, you should have it checked as soon as possible. While the root problem may be an unerupted tooth, there is always the chance that a more serious problem or constellation of problems is lurking in the background. Don’t take chances with your oral health, because the health of your mouth is so intimately tied to your overall health.

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