An exposure of a tooth is a procedure performed when an impacted tooth does not erupt into function spontaneously.  This procedure is performed in conjunction with an orthodontist.  In such cases, a person is put into braces by their orthodontist and then referred to our office for the exposure to be performed.
The exposure is performed by making a cut in the gum on top of the impacted tooth.  The area is opened to expose the hidden tooth underneath.  After the tooth has been exposed, a bracket is placed onto the tooth.  The bracket has a miniature gold chain attached to it.  The chain is then guided back to the orthodontic arch wire where it will be temporarily attached.  This procedure is usually performed under IV sedation.  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.
At this point, the patient will follow up with their orthodontist to continue to have the tooth moved into place.  The chain will then be shortened and continually moved until the tooth is exposed into place.