If you happen to see a person that has a gold chain attached to their braces, do not think that this is some sort of bling added as an accessory. This gold chain actually serves a purpose and that is to help impacted teeth erupt to the gum’s surface. How does this work? Read on.
Impacted teeth: Definition, causes, symptoms, and treatment
Before we discuss the purpose of gold chain bonding for impacted teeth, let us first understand what impacted teeth is all about.
A tooth becomes impacted when it is only able to partially break through the gums or it is unable to erupt fully at all. Impacted teeth are caused by having little space for it in the gums. Impacted teeth commonly affect the wisdom teeth and maxillary canines.
- Wisdom teeth – A normal set of teeth has 4 wisdom teeth. These teeth are located at the far end of the mouth—2 on the upper part and 2 on the lower part of the gums. They usually erupt between 17 to 21 years old. Wisdom teeth extraction is typically recommended for people with small jaws. These teeth do not cause any major impact to the teeth’s function, so it is totally fine for them to be removed.
- Maxillary canines – The maxillary canine is the third tooth from the midline of the face and is the longest tooth in the mouth. Maxillary canines play a vital role in the mouth, hence doctors usually plan treatments that help these teeth come in instead of extracting them.
Oftentimes, impacted teeth do not have obvious symptoms and they may only be detected after a dental X-ray. There is a possibility that you have an impacted tooth when you experience these symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Inability or difficulty to open the mouth wide
- Inflamed gums
- Pain felt during biting, chewing, or opening the mouth
Impacted teeth can be treated in several ways:
- Wait-and-see approach
Impacted tooth that do not show symptoms or cause any problem may first be treated with the wait-and-see approach. This is done by waiting and monitoring the buried tooth over a period of time before making a decision to have it removed.
- Extraction surgery
Impacted tooth that cause problems can be treated by extraction surgery. This is commonly done to remove buried wisdom teeth.
- Eruption devices
Eruption devices are used to help canine teeth erupt to the surface of the gums. Some examples of eruption devices include brackets, braces, or gold chain bonding.
What is gold chain bonding?
Gold chain bonding is a procedure done to guide an unerupted tooth into its proper position. Surgery will be done to uncover the buried tooth and a small chain made of gold is then attached to the tooth. The gold chain will then be attached to a special bracket and is connected to the wire of the braces. The gold chain functions as a guide and pull the tooth to erupt in the gap created for it in between the surrounding teeth.
Here is what can be expected during a gold chain bonding procedure:
- The patient is given local anesthesia and placed under sedation in order to feel comfortable all throughout the procedure
- The surgeon will make an incision to the gums, uncovering the impacted tooth
- Any bone that can block the tooth from erupting is removed
- A bracket and short gold chain is bonded to the tooth
- The chain is then attached to the wire of the braces
- The incision in the gum tissue is returned to its proper place and then sutured.
The gold chain bonding procedure can be done in under an hour.
What happens after the procedure?
A patient can expect bruising and inflammation in the area that was treated following the surgery. Pain medications can be given to relieve aches felt in the gums, especially when the anesthesia wears off.
If the patient experiences abnormal bleeding, swelling, or foul-smelling secretion in and aorund the treatment area that lingers for days following the procedure, call the doctor immediately as these can be signs of an infection.
Here are other aftercare tips that can be done to ensure complete recovery:
- Cleanliness is key – Follow your doctor’s advice on how to clean your mouth while your gums are healing. It is crucial that the mouth is always clean to avoid infection.
- Eat a healthy and soft diet – It will be difficult to bite and chew during the days following the procedure. It is recommended that patients drink plenty of fluids and eat soft foods. Do not use a straw when drinking fluids. Food and drinks that are hot should also be avoided. Solid foods should be introduced gradually when the treatment area is completely healed.
- Get plenty of rest – Patients are asked not to do any physical activities for the next 48 hours after the gold chain bonding procedure.
- Minimize swelling – Swelling can last up to 3 days. To ease this, patients can gently place ice packs on the outside area of the face where the swelling is evident. Keep the cold compress on in intervals of 20 minutes.
- Stop bleeding – Get a piece of gauze and dampen it with clean water. Place the damp gauze inside the mouth and bite it gently for half an hour or an hour at most. Take a rest during this time and keep your head elevated. The bleeding should stop after 2 to 3 days. If this goes on for more than 3 days, consult with your doctor.
How long will the results take?
Erupting the tooth and moving it to its proper place may take around six to twelve months. Though the timeline will be different depending on the patient’s condition. Patients will be required to regularly visit their doctors, so that the process of pulling the buried tooth is monitored and changes can be made if any complications arise.
In Singapore, TES Clinic offers gold chain bonding surgery. Contact their clinic to get further information about this procedure.
304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza Suites
#05-42, Orchard Medical Specialists
+65 6737 0552
+65 9735 9930