Common reasons for tooth extractions include tooth decay, wisdom teeth, and impacted canines (teeth that fail to emerge through the gums). Here are common questions regarding impacted canines.
What are impacted canines?
When teeth are unable to erupt into their proper position in the dental arch, they are considered to be impacted. Aside from wisdom teeth, canines are the most common teeth to become impacted. While wisdom teeth can simply be removed, canine teeth cannot. They are too important to the development of your bite to be extracted. Instead, oral surgeons must work with your orthodontist to bring the teeth into their proper position.
The first step of treating impacted canines is visiting one of our offices. One of our skilled oral surgeons will evaluate your impacted canine and develop a detailed treatment plan.
What causes impacted canines?
Canine teeth typically begin developing around age 10 and can finish developing any time in the next few years. The most common reasons that canine teeth experience impaction include the following:
- Baby teeth not falling out before adult teeth begin growing in
- Extra teeth present in the dental arch
- Other teeth crowding the canine tooth’s spot in the arch
- Bone or growths blocking the canine tooth’s path
How does treatment work?
When impacted canines are discovered while they are still in the early development stages, braces may be sufficient treatment. Braces can shift your other teeth into proper alignment and make room for the canines to be pulled down into their place. When the impaction has developed past the early stages, however, a more involved treatment may be required. Exposure and bonding is the most common treatment for impacted canines, and it involves teamwork between your oral surgeon and orthodontist.
Patients who need an expose and bond procedure must typically still receive braces. It’s up to your braces to move your other teeth out of the way so that when it’s time for the canines to emerge, they have room to do so. Once your other teeth are in their proper position, your oral surgeon will expose the impacted tooth in the gums, and attach a bracket and small chain. Your orthodontist will use this chain to pull the canine down slowly into its place in the dental arch.
The roots of the canine tooth can fuse with your bone in very rare instances. This happens if canines are not discovered or addressed until late development stages. In these cases, the tooth must be extracted. If your impacted tooth requires removal, we will discuss all of your tooth replacement options with you, including dental implants.
Now that you’ve listened to stories from our patients, we encourage you to learn more about our doctors, team, and practice so you can see how we dedicate our time to provide the highest quality treatments with the most up-to-date technology.