Unerupted Tooth Recovery

If baby teeth do not come out on time or there is a lack of space, the permanent replacement teeth can become impacted. This means that the tooth tips sideways in the jawbone and prevents it from coming in on its own. Once a tooth is impacted, it either needs to be pulled, left up in the bone, or surgically exposed and brought down into place with orthodontic appliances.

The tooth most often impacted from age 12-18 is the cuspid tooth, which is in the front of the mouth and extremely important in appearance and in chewing. Your orthodontist has the baby cuspid removed, makes space for the impacted permanent cuspid and sends the patient to an oral & maxillofacial surgeon to have the tooth uncovered or exposed.

The upper cuspid tooth is usually the tooth needing exposure. If the tooth is outside toward the lip, the surgeon makes an incision in the gum and raises it up like a window shade to reveal the tooth. If the cuspid is inside toward the roof of the mouth, the surgeon can uncover the tooth and place a bracket on it or uncover it and place an attachment and then replace the tissue back over the tooth. A small chain or wire will be left coming down from the covered tooth for the orthodontist to pull on to move the tooth down through the gum.

Moving a tooth into position from the palate is a long and time-consuming process. It can be done at any age but works better at earlier ages.

Bleeding After Surgery

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.

Swelling After Surgery

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours. Always wrap the ice bag in a towel.

Diet After Surgery

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain After Surgery

You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength. Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. Always follow the prescribed instructions on the bottle. For severe pain, you should contact Dr. Pogue.

Oral Hygiene After Surgery

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete. REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.

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