Although the third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the most likely to become impacted, other teeth can fail to erupt properly, too. When other impacted teeth are toward the front of the arch, it can have a detrimental effect on the smile.
The canines, or eyeteeth, are particularly prominent in the smile, and they are second only to the wisdom teeth in frequency of being impacted. When one of these teeth is impacted, your smile’s appearance will definitely suffer. Furthermore, these teeth are particularly important in chewing, which may be compromised in cases of impacted canines.
The best oral surgeons can assist patients who find themselves facing impacted canine teeth.
The canines are among the last teeth to erupt in the mouth, often when the patient is around 13 years old. A screening x-ray is recommended around age 7 to identify any potential problems with the tooth’s eruption. Getting an oral surgeon involved early in the process is beneficial in cases of impacted teeth.
An orthodontist will also be involved in the treatment to create adequate space for the canine to erupt. Your oral surgeon may need to extract additional teeth and will work closely with your orthodontist to achieve the desired outcomes.
A surgical procedure can help to encourage the impacted canine to come in. The oral surgeon lifts the gum to access the impacted tooth, then bonds an orthodontic bracket to the tooth and uses a small chain to link the tooth to the orthodontic wire that is already in place. A few days after the surgery, the patient will return to the orthodontist, who will attach a rubber band to the wire to apply to force needed to reposition the tooth. Over the course of the next several months, the tooth will be guided to its rightful place.
After the canine has moved into its proper position, some patients may also need a gum graft to supplement the gum tissue if it is too thin to withstand normal chewing forces. This procedure is not always necessary, though.
Parents should have their children examined at a young age to see if they are at risk for impacted canines. An oral surgeon can educate you about the process and what it involves.
Contact Dallas Oral Surgery Associates for additional information and to schedule a consultation.