What is “Expose and Bond”?

When patients visit an orthodontist to have their teeth straightened, space also is made for any unerupted teeth. If the teeth fail to erupt on the expected timeline, the orthodontist refers the patient to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) for an expose-and-bond procedure. During the procedure:

  • The unerupted tooth is exposed.
  • A bracket may be attached to the newly exposed tooth and connected to the patient’s orthodontia via a chain.

At a later visit to the orthodontist, the patient will have special hardware activated to slowly move the exposed tooth or teeth into place.

Why Expose Impacted Teeth?

The expose-and-bond procedure is oral surgery to expose an unerupted tooth. The following are reasons why the surgery is performed:

  • If a tooth is not erupting due to its position in the mouth, and it is unlikely to erupt on its own.
  • The position of an unerupted tooth could damage the roots of adjacent teeth if it is not relocated to its proper position.
  • Cysts can form around unerupted teeth and lead to other health issues.
  • Even if the tooth does eventually erupt, it can push other teeth out of position.