Impacted teeth are those that cannot erupt properly through the gums. In some cases, they cannot erupt at all. When most people hear the words impacted teeth, they immediately think of the wisdom teeth. While these teeth are the most likely to become impacted, any tooth can be affected. After the wisdom teeth, the maxillary canines are second most likely to become impacted. Because the wisdom teeth are not necessary, they can be extracted to treat the issue. The canines, however, perform many important roles. At Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery we can expose impacted canines, helping them to come into alignment so that they can function properly.
The Roles of the Canines
Your teeth play many important roles in your mouth. Your canines play a few additional important roles. These include:
Causes of Impacted Canines
Your maxillary canines can become impacted for several reasons. Common causes include:
How are Impacted Canines Diagnosed?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends an orthodontic evaluation by the age 7. This evaluation is important for determining the presence of, or likelihood for, orthodontic issues. This includes the potential for impacted wisdom teeth. This is done with a visual examination of the mouth as well as with dental X-rays.
For patients who have not undergone an orthodontic evaluation as a child, X-rays are also an important tool for determining the presence of impacted canines. They can also help us to pinpoint the cause of the issue so that we can provide you with optimal treatment.
Treatment for Impacted Canines
There are a few ways to treat impacted canines. For younger patients, impacted canines can often be dealt with without surgery. A special brace can be placed to help encourage the canines to erupt on their own. In some cases, one or more teeth may need to be extracted to create space.
The older you get, the less likely it becomes that your canines will erupt on their own. For this reason, many older patients do require surgery. Surgery involves creating a small incision in the gums near the impacted canine. A special bracket is bonded to the tooth. A chain is connected to this brace — the chain hooks on to existing orthodontic work. An elastic band is used to tighten the band, which helps to encourage the tooth to come through the gums. The chain is periodically tightened to help the tooth to come into proper alignment.
By exposing impacted canines, they can be guided into correct alignment so that they can function properly. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery today at (208) 994-6227.