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Dentistry

If you’ve noticed sores or white ulcerations in your mouth, it’s possible you have a non-contagious disease known as Lichen Planus.  Many patients do not even realize they have it because it may cause no noticeable symptoms.  Many times, you may not even be aware you have the condition unless pointed out during a dental exam.  Although usually benign, it’s still a good idea to have it examined and monitored.  

The lesions of Lichen Planus are similar in appearance to lichen, the algae and fungi organism often found on rocks and trees. It’s believed to be an autoimmune disease, in which the body treats some of its own cells as foreign and reacts adversely to them. Certain medications and substances may also cause a lichenoid reaction. Besides the inner cheeks, gums or tongue, Lichen Planus may also appear on other skin or mucous surfaces on the wrists, legs or fingernails.

Inside the mouth it usually resembles a lacy pattern of white lines or ulceration. Gum tissues may become red and inflamed, with some soreness after brushing or eating. Sometimes it has ulcerations that come along with it.  Although there’s no known cure for Lichen Planus, it rarely causes serious problems.  It may even fade away on its own in time.  Chances are if you have a case of Lichen Planus it isn’t causing you any problems. If it does cause you discomfort, you can take steps to ease your symptoms.

If the lesions do become uncomfortable (painful, itchy or overly-sensitive), we recommend brushing with a soft toothbrush, flossing with soft woven floss (to avoid irritating or traumatizing the tissues).  Effective plaque control is important to keep the condition under control.  It may also be smart to avoid acidic or spicy foods and beverages which have been known to cause flare-ups. Managing stress is also helpful, and a topical steroid may be prescribed for more severe outbreaks.

Perhaps the greatest concern with Lichen Planus, though, is it may resemble more serious conditions, particularly oral cancer. The only way to be certain that it is a benign condition is to perform a biopsy on some of the affected tissue. If you notice a problem, be sure to visit us for a complete examination. And regardless of whether you have the condition or not, regular oral cancer screenings, as well as limits on alcohol consumption and stopping use of tobacco, will also reduce your risk of oral cancer.

 If you would like more information on Lichen Planus and similar oral conditions, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

 

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Dental implants can dramatically improve the appearance and health of your smile.  If you have one or more dental implants in your mouth, it is important to be on the lookout for the signs of peri-implant disease. Bleeding gums, gingivitis, and other issues can be even more severe in dental implant patients. Read more for the signs that you should see a periodontist about your dental implants.

Swollen or Red Gums

Pay careful attention to the health and condition of the gums that surround the implant site. Swollen or red gums are among the first signs that you are developing peri-implant disease. If you notice bleeding when touching, flossing or brushing your implant, that is something to get checked. A periodontist will be able to help you care for your gums and make sure that your dental implant is in good condition.

Pain When Eating or Chewing

A healthy implant will not cause pain or discomfort when you are chewing, eating, or swallowing. You should see a periodontist if you start to experience any of these symptoms around your dental implant. Swollen and inflamed gums can cause pain and discomfort around the implant area. Treating your gums will help you restore comfort to your entire mouth.

Shifting or Crooked Teeth

Periodontal disease can cause your teeth around the implant to shift out of place over time. If you have started to notice that your implant has moved from its original position, it may be time to make a trip to the periodontist. Your periodontist can treat your gums and ensure that your implant has a healthy and properly placed position in your smile.

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Smoking is notoriously dangerous to your health. While the health risks of smoking are well known, you may be surprised to learn that smoking can dramatically impact the health and condition of your teeth and gums. Smoking can aggravate some of the most common oral health problems such as bad breath or gum disease and is a risk factor for oral cancer.

Periodontal Disease

While gum disease can be present for a variety of reasons, smoking can dramatically worsen its symptoms. If a person smokes, he or she may be much more likely to develop tartar buildup, bleeding gums, and other symptoms associated with periodontal disease. When your dentist spots the early signs of gum disease in your smile, quitting smoking can help to slow down the progression of your symptoms.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is another serious health concern that is associated with tobacco use. A person who uses tobacco will be at much greater risk of developing oral cancer in his or her lifetime. Smoking during cancer treatment can also lead to the spread of cancer cells to the throat, larynx, or other areas of the mouth. Even smokeless tobacco products have been determined to contribute to the growth of cancer cells in certain patients.

Implant Issues

A person who smokes is also at risk of experiencing issues with his or her dental implants. Dental implants are used to replace broken or missing teeth. Since smoking can contribute to bone loss and other oral health problems, a dental implant may fail when it is placed in the mouth of a person who smokes.

Dr. Todd Britten can address any concerns that you may have about smoking and your oral health. Call us today 727-586-2681.

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Dental implants are often used to replace teeth, but when there is not enough jaw bone to hold the implants, a dental bone grafting procedure may have to be done first.

“After the loss of a tooth, the jawbone recedes, or becomes indented. Bone grafting allows us to fill in this space to have enough bone to place a dental implant.”

For patients with missing teeth who need additional jaw bone support for the placement of dental implants, a periodontal regenerative procedure, or bone grafting must first be performed. Dr. Britten, an implant specialist and periodontist in Clearwater, Florida, also provides the latest technology and techniques in ridge augmentation, ridge preservation, sinus lift or sinus augmentation procedures for patients missing teeth to be able to have dental implants.

Dental bone grafts can come from multiple sources. Autogenous grafts come from the patient, allografts are taken from a bone bank where human bone from cadavers has been donated, and xenografts are taken from animal bone. Local anesthesia is all that is needed in most cases. The new bone is surgically placed in the jaw area where it is deficient in bone and transplanted where the dental implants will be located.

Sometimes Leukocyte Rich Platelet Rich Fibrin is used in addition to bone grafting. (L- PRF) is a by-product of a patient’s own blood that can help healing after dental procedures such as a tooth extraction, as well as promote healing around bone or tissue grafts and dental implants. L-PRF treatments are often used for greater success for necessary procedures for dental implant placement, including socket bone grafts, sinus lifts, ridge augmentation, correcting peri-implantitis, block bone grafts and extraction sites prior to implant placement. Dr. Britten provides both of these technologies in his Clearwater, Florida periodontal practice.

The dental bone graft, or periodontal regeneration procedure, must be allowed to heal completely prior to other procedures, such as the placement of dental implants. This will generally take about four to six months. Once the area has completely healed, the patient can be reevaluated for the placement of dental implants.

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association.

Patients interested in these procedures can get additional information by calling 727-586-2681.

When teeth need to be replaced, dental implants are a wonderful option for many people. Just like natural teeth, however, there is no guarantee a person’s dental implant(s) will last a lifetime. Although they may look bionic in pictures, a dental implant still needs careful monitoring and regular care. True, they cannot decay like natural teeth – but they are subject to the same complications of gum disease and bone loss.

There are two categories of peri-implant complications: Peri-Implant Mucositis and Peri-Implantitis.

Peri-Implant Mucositis: This condition is similar to gingivitis around a natural tooth and does not include loss of attachment (bone or gum tissue) and is hopefully reversible at this stage. Peri-Implant Mucositis is a reversible inflammatory reaction in the soft tissues surrounding a functioning implant. Treating this condition as soon as possible will prevent peri-implantitis!

Peri-Implantitis: This is a condition similar to periodontitis with loss of supporting structures (gum and/or bone) around a natural tooth. Peri-Implantitis is a destructive inflammatory reaction affecting the soft (gingiva) and hard (bone).

Checking for implant health

Upon routine examination, Dr. Britten, your general dentist or dental hygienist will evaluate your implant for plaque or tartar build up around the implant, as well as gum tissue color, texture and type of gum tissue supporting the implant (attached to bone or unattached).

Next, probing measurements will be taken around the implant. Dr. Britten, the dentist or hygienist will use light pressure and a plastic probe. The tissues surrounding dental implants have a weaker attachment, bleed easier, and may be a bit more sensitive to probing. Heavy bleeding, pus, and increased probing measurements will require attention.
We will check both the implant body and its restorative parts, such as the implant abutment or crown for any loose parts. If the restorative parts are loose they can likely be repaired by your restorative dentist or implant specialist, Dr. Todd Britten. If the implant body itself is mobile, it’s an immediate failure and will require removal. Dr. Britten, or your dentist will also check your bite to make sure that the implant is not being hit with excessive pressure, as this could cause the bone surrounding the implant to weaken and the implant body to become loose.

Radiographs, or x-rays, should be taken at different times during the surgical and restorative phase of implant placement. Routine, annual “checkup” x-rays should be taken of the implant to compare to the original ones taken to carefully evaluate bone levels.

The dental hygiene visit includes removal of all soft and hard deposits on the implants, just as on the teeth themselves. Our hygienists often use instruments designed exclusively for implant care. We will then discuss the best daily oral hygiene care plan for your mouth and your dental implant(s). Listen closely to these oral hygiene instructions and customized daily oral hygiene strategies. Just like with natural teeth, biofilm or plaque must be removed skillfully every day because it can cause both infection and inflammation around a dental implant.

Studies show rinsing with Listerine (diluted with water if strong alcohol content is an issue) has its benefits because of its great antibacterial properties. Other great oral hygiene aids for implant care include a power toothbrush (love Sonicare by Phillips), Proxysoft Bridge and Implant Floss (www.proxysoft.com), double-bend end tufted brush for lingual of lower hybrids (Tepe brand). A Waterpik may also be used, but with careful instruction from your dental professional.

Our periodontist, Dr. Todd Britten, will determine a maintenance schedule that is appropriate for you. It is very common for patients with implants to be seen every 3 to 4 months for those with less-than-ideal oral health, advancing age, or systemic conditions.

When complications arise

Peri-Implant mucositis can be treated with non-surgical therapy and daily disease control (effective oral hygiene). This condition should be carefully reevaluated and reassessed. If the issue cannot be resolved in six months, it is advisable to see an implant specialist.

If Peri-Implantitis is diagnosed, non-surgical therapy is typically ineffective. At this stage, it is adviseable to see an implant specialist to see if there is a restorative issue that can be addressed, or if surgical (traditional or laser LAPIP therapy) or implant removal is needed.

Regular dental hygiene care and examination is just as important to dental implant health as it is to natural teeth. If you have any questions regarding the health of your dental implant, contact us today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at www.brittenperio.com.

A dental emergency is a frightening and often painful experience. Seeking treatment as soon as possible is is the best way to alleviate pain and to give the effected tooth or teeth the best possible chance of survival.

Teeth can become fractured by trauma, grinding, or biting on a hard object. Sometimes fillings, crowns, and other restorative devices can be damaged or fall out of the mouth completely. If there is severe pain, it is essential to contact your dentist immediately!

Pain from a dental emergency will almost always get worse without treatment, and dental issues, particularly infections can also cause other serious health issues!

Possible dental emergencies and how to deal with them

Tooth knocked out (avulsed)
It is essential to see a dentist immediately. Once out of the mouth, tissues, nerves, and blood vessels become damaged. If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again.

Here are some steps to take:

Call your dentist immediately.
Pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it under warm water. DO NOT touch the root.
If possible, place it back into its socket – if it can not, tuck it into the inside of your cheek pouch.
If the tooth cannot be placed in the mouth, put the tooth into a cup of milk, saliva, or water as a last resort. It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
Get to your dentist, quickly and safely.
They will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket. In some cases, the tooth will reattach, however, root canal therapy might be necessary.

Dislodged/loose teeth
When a tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma or decay, it might be possible to save it. If the tooth remains in the mouth still attached to the blood vessels and nerves, there is a good chance root canal therapy will not be necessary.
It is important to call your dentist immediately to make an appointment. In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain. Your dentist will reposition the tooth and may be able to splints the tooth to stabilize it. If the tooth fails to heal, root canal therapy might be required.

Lost filling or crown
Usually, a crown or filling comes loose while eating. The tooth may be incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.

What to do: Make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Keep the crown in a cool, safe place because there is a possibility that may be recemented. If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, other teeth may shift or sustain damage.
If your dentist is not immediately accessible, here are the steps to take:

Clean the crown, and affix it onto the tooth with dental cement. This can be purchased at a local pharmacy.
If the crown is lost, smear the top of the tooth with dental cement to alleviate discomfort.
DO NOT use any kind of glue to affix the crown.
Your dentist will check the crown to see if it still fits. If it does, it will be recemented to the tooth. If decay is noted (which often is the reason the crown became loose) this will be treated and a new crown will be made.

Cracked or broken teeth
Teeth are strong, but they may still fracture, crack or break. Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme. Fractures, cracks, and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding, and biting.

What to do:
Schedule an appointment as soon as possible!

If a portion of the tooth has been broken off, here are some steps that can be taken at home:

Call your dentist.
Rinse the tooth fragment and the mouth with lukewarm water.
Apply gauze to the area for ten minutes if there is bleeding.
Place a cold, damp dishtowel on your cheek if there is any swelling or pain.
Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement if you cannot see us immediately.
Take a topical pain reliever.
The nature of the break or fracture will dictate what your dentist is able to do. If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy is often the most effective way to retain the tooth. Some fractures may cause either eventual or immediate loss of a tooth. The extent of damage from a fracture can often be determined with radiographs or a CT scan.

If you have questions or concerns about dental emergencies, please contact our office or your restorative dentist.

For more information call our office at (727) 586-2681.

Oral Health for Older Adults

Self-Care

“What Can I Do To Maintain Good Oral Health?

Drink fluoridated water at recommended level and brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Fluoride protects against dental decay at all ages. Bottled water may not contain fluoride.

Practice good oral hygiene. Careful tooth brushing and flossing to reduce dental plaque can help prevent gum disease. Caregivers need to help with daily oral hygiene routines of elders who are unable to perform these activities independently.

Eat a balanced diet low in sugar and starches.

Avoid tobacco. Smokers have seven times the risk of developing periodontal disease compared to non-smokers.

Limit alcohol. Drinking high amounts of alcohol is a risk factor for oral and throat cancers. Sudden changes in taste and smell need not be considered a sign of aging, but a sign to seek professional care. Alcohol dries the mouth and can make a person more prone to cavities.

Professional care helps maintain the overall health of the teeth and mouth, and provides for early detection of precancerous or cancerous lesions. Make sure that you or your loved one gets dental care prior to having cancer chemotherapy or radiation to the head or neck. See your dental provider on a regular basis, even if you have no natural teeth and have dentures.”

-courtesy of the Washington State Dept. of Health

For Caregivers

“Wear clean, disposable gloves.
Sit loved one/patient upright or bring them to a sink. Have a towel handy and a disposable cup for potential spills. If sitting in a chair, stand behind them and cradle their head.

Using a soft bristle toothbrush, brush each tooth with a small circular motion and gentle pressure. Angle the brush towards the gums as you brush the outside, inside, and chewing surface of each tooth. Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day. If available, electric toothbrushes are typically more effective.

Gently brush the tongue and roof of the mouth.

Have them rinse with water or an alcohol-free germ-fighting mouthwash.

Take a look at their lips and inside of the mouth. If you notice any cracking, lumps, white or red lesions, or sores that do not heal within 2 weeks, you should consult a dentist or doctor.

Floss all teeth, dental bridges, and implants. Other
dental aids such as interproximal brushes, floss
threaders or softpicks may also be helpful

Clean dentures daily and remove at night.

If they are unable to rinse, ask them to spit out any excess toothpaste and debris. (Leaving a film of fluoridated toothpaste on the teeth can be beneficial.) If your loved one/ patient is resistant to your assistance, be patient. Consistency, repetition, and encouraging words will help them adjust.

After Eating:

Remove any remaining food from your loved one’s mouth. Gauze or a soft cloth can be helpful to wipe away excess food. If brushing is not an option, ask them to rinse with a cup of water then spit back into the cup. Frequent sips of water throughout the day will help cleanse the mouth. Gum with xylitol is also a good option to help cleanse the mouth.

If Cleaning Problems Persist:

Ask your dentist about germ fighting rinses. They may also prescribe a stronger toothpaste that contains more fluoride to prevent cavities.

Professional Dental Care:

Even if there are no problems, everyone should visit the dentist for a professional cleaning and exam twice a year. Even those who wear dentures are in need of an annual dental exam.”

-courtesy of Elizabeth Southern Puette, RDH, BSDH, MS
Member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association

“Healthy Teeth are necessary for a healthy body. With good habits at home like brushing, flossing, fluoride, regular dental care, and avoiding tobacco products, older adults are able to keep their teeth a lifetime.”

–courtesy of the Washington State Dept. of Health

For more information on oral health, email us at healthysmiles@brittenperio.com or call us today at 727-586-2681.

Many people clench or grind their teeth whether they realize it or not. Clenching and grinding can be detrimental to your teeth and to their supporting structures (gum tissues and bone).
It can cause wear on the biting surfaces, root defects, gum recession, contribute to gum disease and tooth shifting and mobility, and cause muscular and TMJ (joint) issues.
Most people are completely unaware that they do it, because it happens while they are sleeping. Many patients do not realize they grind their teeth and find the thought of wearing a night guard very unappealing.

Nightguards purchased online or at the drug store are not custom fitted, they are usual one size fits all or boil & bites. They can be large, unattractive, poorly fitting and may even come out during the grinding.

Your dentist is trained in how a persons’ bite should function, how the teeth should come together and will take into account your specific situation and grinding pattern. Your dentist’s office will take impressions of your teeth so that the dental lab can make a might guard that is the exact match to your teeth.

Although the initial investment may be greater, a custom fit nightguard can be an extremely worthwhile investment in the long run. It is designed by your dentist to fit your teeth exactly and is much more likely than a store bought guard to prevent you from needing more expensive dental work in the future. In many case, dental insurance covers all or part of the cost.
Dr. Britten can check your teeth and bite for signs of abnormal clenching and grinding and work with your dentist to fabricate the right appliance for you. Contact our office at 727-586-2681, or via email at healthysmiles@brittenperio.com.

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From Colgate.com

“Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth. There are three main types of tooth discoloration:

Extrinsic — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration if:
You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
You were born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations.

Age-related — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Foods and smoking also can stain teeth as people get older. Finally, chips or other injuries can discolor a tooth, especially when the pulp has been damaged.
Symptoms
Symptoms include stains on the enamel. They can range from white streaks to yellow tints or brown spots and pits. If the enamel has worn away, and dentin is showing through, you may notice a yellow tint.

Diagnosis
No special tests are needed. A dentist or other dental professional can diagnose tooth discoloration by looking at the teeth.

Expected Duration
Some tooth discoloration can be removed with professional cleaning. An example would be the stains caused by coffee. Many stains are permanent, however. Teeth sometimes can be whitened with a bleaching gel. In some cases, if the discoloration is severe, a crown or veneer may be required to cover it.

Prevention
Brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Dentists recommend that you rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth. Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist also will help to remove surface stains.

Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth sometimes can be prevented. You may need to have root canal treatment to remove the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that have root canal treatment may darken anyway.

To prevent intrinsic stains in children, avoid too much early exposure to fluorides. Once the enamel is formed, fluoride will not discolor teeth.

Treatment
Many extrinsic stains caused by food and drink can be removed by regular professional cleanings and home care. Good home care includes brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals.

Discoloration often can be removed by applying a bleaching agent to the tooth enamel. One technique is called “power bleaching.” With this method, the dentist applies a light-activated bleaching gel. It causes the teeth to get significantly whiter in about 30 to 45 minutes. Several follow-up treatments may be needed, or take-home bleaching trays may be provided.

It’s also possible to remove discoloration at home. You will use a bleaching gel and a mouth guard given to you by your dentist. The bleaching gels designed for use at home aren’t as strong as those applied by your dentist. This means that the process takes longer — usually two to four weeks.

You also can buy whitening products over the counter. They contain a weaker bleach than the products you can get from your dentist. The whitening agent is applied as a gel placed in a mouthpiece or as a strip that sticks to your teeth. Over-the-counter mouthpieces fit less securely than the kind you get from your dentist, but they will lighten your teeth over time.

Whitening toothpastes may remove minor stains. They do not actually change the overall color of your teeth.

If your tooth has darkened after a root canal, bleaching the enamel won’t help. Your dentist can apply a bleaching material to the inside of the tooth, or you may consider a crown or veneer.

Bleaching will not lighten some stains, such as tetracycline stains. In this case, your dentist may recommend covering the discolored areas. This also may be useful when the tooth is chipped or badly damaged.

A tooth can be covered with a color-matched composite bonding material. Another option is to get veneers. These are thin ceramic shells that cover the outer surfaces of the teeth.

When To Call a Professional
Tooth discoloration is mainly a cosmetic problem. Visit a dentist if you’re unhappy with how your teeth look. Any change in a child’s normal tooth color should be evaluated by a dentist.

Prognosis
The prognosis is very good for extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains may be more difficult or take longer to remove.”

Most people have heard of wisdom teeth that become impacted, however the upper canines, or eye teeth are the second most common impacted adult teeth. If a canine tooth does not erupt spontaneously, your orthodontist and periodontist or oral surgeon will work together to get these unerupted canine to erupt. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis but treatment will usually involve a combined effort. The most common scenario will call for the orthodontist to place braces on the teeth (at least the upper arch). A space will be opened to provide room for the impacted tooth to be moved into its proper position in the dental arch. If the baby canine has not fallen out already, it is usually left in place until the space for the adult canine is ready. Once the space is ready, the orthodontist will refer the patient to the oral surgeon to have the impacted canine exposed and bracketed.

In a simple surgical procedure performed in the surgeon’s office, the gum on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted up to expose the hidden tooth underneath. If there is a baby tooth present, it will be removed at the same time. Once the tooth is exposed, your oral surgeon or periodontist will bond an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth. The bracket will have a miniature gold chain attached to it. The surgeon will guide the chain back to the orthodontic arch wire where it will be temporarily attached. Sometimes the surgeon will leave the exposed impacted tooth completely uncovered by suturing the gum up high above the tooth or making a window in the gum covering the tooth (on selected cases located on the roof of the mouth). Most of the time, the gum will be returned to its original location and sutured back with only the chain remaining visible as it exits a small hole in the gum.

Shortly after surgery (1-14 days) the patient will return to the orthodontist. A rubber band will be attached to the chain to put a light eruptive pulling force on the impacted tooth. This will begin the process of moving the tooth into its proper place in the dental arch. This is a carefully controlled, slow process that may take up to a full year to complete. Remember, the goal is to erupt the impacted tooth and not to extract it! Once the tooth is moved into the arch in its final position, the gum around it will be evaluated to make sure it is sufficiently strong and healthy to last for a lifetime of chewing and tooth brushing. In some circumstances, especially those where the tooth had to be moved a long distance, there may be some minor gum surgery required to add bulk to the gum tissue over the relocated tooth so it remains healthy during normal function. Your dentist or orthodontist will explain this situation to you if it applies to your specific situation.

Dr. Britten works with excellent pediatric dentists, general dentists and orthodontists in our area to surgically intervene in case of an impacted tooth.  Call us today if you have any questions!  727-586-2681.