The flap of tissue that covers a partially erupted tooth is called the operculum. A partially erupted tooth can be more prone to decay and gum disease. It also causes inflammation of the gums and infections to the adjacent tissues.

In order to proceed with the treatment of a partially erupted tooth, the operculum on the tooth should be removed by surgery; this surgery is called the operculectomy. Typically, operculectomy is performed for the treatment of a partially erupted wisdom tooth.