An impacted tooth is a tooth that is stuck beneath the gum. Impaction can happen to any tooth, but wisdom teeth and canines are the most susceptible.
While extraction is typically recommended to remove impacted wisdom teeth, canine teeth serve an essential purpose to the mouth. If a canine tooth is impacted, oral surgeons and orthodontists will work hand in hand to expose the impacted tooth to allow it to come in correctly.
The canines are some of the last permanent teeth to grow in. This happens typically between the ages of 11 or 12. They help tear food and guide the alignment of the other teeth.
Canines are commonly affected by impaction for a few reasons:
Baby teeth that don’t fall out in time
Unusual growths block the tooth’s path
Tooth crowding or lack of space in the mouth
The rare presence of extra teeth that can crowd the canines
Exposing impacted canines as early as possible allows the teeth the best chance to grow in normally on their own. Regular checkups with your child’s dentist can ensure that their teeth are developing properly. Diagnosis of an impacted tooth can be confirmed through an X-ray or CT scan.
To expose an impacted tooth, your orthodontist or general dentist may refer you or your child to an oral surgeon. If your child is under the care of an orthodontist, they will move the surrounding teeth to make room for the impacted canine to grow in. Then, Dr. Shirley will gently remove any gum tissue or bone that may be in the way of the tooth. He will bond a small chain to the newly exposed tooth, and your orthodontist will use that chain to guide the canine carefully into position as it grows in.
The procedure is simple and can be done in-office. However, like with any oral surgery procedure, some discomfort afterward is to be expected.
Please contact Piney Woods Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery if you have been recommended for the treatment of impacted teeth. We are happy to schedule a consultation and discuss the treatment plan that is right for you.