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Impacted Canines or Tooth Exposure


Impacted canines occur when teeth fail to erupt properly, and stay below the gumline or in the bone. While it is often possible for an orthodontist to move teeth to allow space for the tooth to grow in naturally, some cases require the assistance of an oral surgeon to provide space for the tooth to erupt. Your dentist or orthodontist may recommend to have it “exposed”.  This refers to the procedure to remove the bone and gum tissue above the tooth.  After the top of the tooth is exposed, an orthodontic button will be secured to the tooth which will allow the orthodontist to gently guide that tooth into the correct position in the mouth.

​Certain teeth are more essential to the proper alignment and function of your smile. Canines or cuspids, for example are the most common tooth to be referred for exposure. These teeth have a tendency to become impacted and are only extracted as a last resort.

​Your orthodontist and your oral surgeon will work closely to determine the correct procedure and the correct timing for an exposure surgery. The first step is usually with the orthodontist who will place brackets on the teeth and ensure that they are aligned. Once there is enough space for the impacted tooth to erupt into, the oral surgeon will expose the tooth and secure an orthodontic button. This procedure is commonly performed under general anesthesia after a consultation with the oral surgeon.

Post-Operative Instructions After Impacted Tooth Exposure

Oral surgical care in a safe, warm, and caring environment!

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5 of 5 stars of 167

We were headed to Florida when my son came down with an abscessed tooth. Dr. Loveless was able to get us in and remove his tooth before our flight. I can’t thank Laurie enough for making what could be a scary experience for my 7 year old, a fun, pleasant one. I can’t express how thankful I am for her treating him like her own and making sure he was comfortable. She went above and beyond in my eyes and made this nervous mom rest a little easier. Thank you both!!!

5 of 5 stars of 167

Dr. Loveless was wonderful, kind, professional, and really made me feel comfortable. He is the kind of man you would want as your regular dentist for not only yourself, but for also your family, neighbors, former roommates twice removed (you get the picture lol). I was completely and utterly scared when I went in and he and the staff helped ease my fears. I didn’t feel anything, he worked quickly, and I left feeling really confident in his work. I hope I never need oral surgery again but if I do, I’m going to [him], hands down. I would absolutely recommend [him] to anyone. 🙂

Jenny C.
Happy Patient

5 of 5 stars of 167

I had a great experience at Archway. I went there to get four wisdom teeth removed. The office was clean. The staff was nice and efficient. Dr. Loveless was warm and the Spotify music was a nice touch. The procedure went through with no problems and I didn’t feel a thing. I received a post op call and great instructions. Overall, the experience exceeded my expectations after you hear all the horror stories regarding wisdom teeth removal.

5 of 5 stars of 167

Dr. Loveless and his team were amazing! I was a new patient and called to see if I could get in right away to remove a wisdom tooth. It was an emergency, and they got me in within the hour!! The staff through out my whole experience, from the front desk to the dental assistants, were GREAT!!!! The office was fresh and clean. I highly recommend Dr. Loveless if you’re looking for an oral surgeon.

Raegan M.
Happy Patient

5 of 5 stars of 167

I went to have my wisdom teeth removed and it was the most pleasant experience. The staff and physician were very friendly and immediately put me at ease. The office was beautiful and exceptionally clean and I would definitely recommend their services to anyone and everyone!

Holly P.
Happy Patient

5 of 5 stars of 167

Great place. Super nice staff and quick procedures. Everyone I know who got surgery done elsewhere was bedridden for a week but I had almost immediate recovery time. Highly recommend this place

Clayton J.
Happy Patient

5 of 5 stars of 167

“You are an awesome doctor! Also, your assistants were great and made everything so much easier. Thank you for being such a caring doctor.”

5 of 5 stars of 167

Best oral surgery place! Everyone is so friendly & caring! They did a great job of making sure I was comfortable & the surgeon did an excellent job-they even gave me some Ted Drewes to bring home!

Deb M.
Happy Patient

5 of 5 stars of 167

Excellent oral surgeon. I had to have my wisdom teeth removed and was terrified. The staff at Archway were very professional and took care of me. Painless proceedure and I was in and out in a hour. highly recommended thank you very much!

Patrick H.
Happy Patient

5 of 5 stars of 167

Dr. Loveless did an amazing job. I needed a wisdom tooth extracted that had a large cavity. He got it out whole in less than 1 minute. He is great. His staff is wonderful too. My whole experience was great. I will refer anyone that needs an oral surgeon!

Pamela W.
Happy Patient

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St. Louis Office

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St. Louis, MO 63109

Washington Office

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Washington, MO 63090

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