Tooth uprighting is most often necessary to treat second molars. The second set of molars, which typically grow in around age 12, have a tendency to grow in slightly crooked or tilted. When this happens, it’s important to correct their positioning in order to preserve the health of other teeth and overall oral function. If you or your dentist notice your child’s molars need uprighting, please contact our office in Bellaire, TX, to schedule a consultation.
What is tooth uprighting?
Tooth uprighting is similar to the exposure of impacted teeth (such as canines) but involves more surgery to the bone and teeth. Your oral surgeon will perform the procedure so he can go in and correct the positioning of the molars, allowing them to grow in and erupt from beneath the gums.
Why is tooth uprighting necessary?
While every case is different, the most common cause of tilted second molars is impacted third molars. If third molars, or wisdom teeth, grow on top of the second molars before they can erupt, they end up trapping the second molars, resulting in a need for the tooth uprighting procedure.
Unlike third molars, which can be removed if they are growing in improperly, second molars are necessary to the development of the bite and for chewing. When the second molars are leaning or trapped by the third molars from erupting, it’s important to correct their position. If the second molars are left in their tilted position, it’s possible for them to grow towards the other teeth, damaging roots or affecting the alignment of the healthy teeth. In addition, teeth that remain stuck beneath the gums carry the risk of developing infections, cysts, and even tumors.
Tooth uprighting is typically performed in conjunction with anesthesia to ensure the patient doesn’t experience any discomfort. Once the sedation has taken effect, the first step of the procedure is removing the wisdom teeth (or whatever else may be blocking the second molars from erupting) from the growth path. Once the blockage has been removed, Dr. Iero will alter the gums and soft tissue around the second molars to ensure that no food or bacteria can get trapped during the recovery period. After he has corrected the position of the teeth, he will suture the gums and wait for the anesthesia to wear off.
Over the next several months, the tooth will need to be stabilized (most likely by your orthodontist using a brace or wire) so the bone will grow properly around the root of the tooth. One important note is that the position of the tooth after uprighting may not be the proper permanent position. In many cases, once the tooth has erupted, patients will still require braces or other orthodontics to properly align all teeth.
Tooth Uprighting at Bellaire Facial, Oral & Dental Implant Surgery
If your dentist has noticed a problem with your child’s second molar growth and recommends you for a tooth uprighting procedure, contact our office in Bellaire, TX. Dr. Iero can ensure your child’s teeth are treated and can erupt properly. We look forward to meeting you.