Impacted Canines

Wisdom teeth are the most often impacted, but a close second are the canines. These are the sharp biting and tearing teeth surrounding the upper and lower front teeth, known as incisors.

When these are unable to erupt, patients typically need combined orthodontic and surgical treatments to correct the concern. All young patients should receive a thorough dental examination to ensure that adult teeth are present between the ages of 7 and 10.

Canines are typically the last teeth to erupt before the wisdom teeth, and if they’re not present by the age of 13, it may be time to take action to assist them in emerging.

Assisted Canine Eruption

If your general dentist recommends guided canine eruption, schedule a consultation appointment right away. We are happy to offer surgical care in conjunction with your orthodontist.

The assisted canine eruption process varies from patient to patient. However, typical procedures entail three steps:

  • Orthodontic intervention – Once we realize that a patients’ canines have not erupted and seem incapable of doing so spontaneously, an orthodontist will likely be needed to place bracket and wire braces on either the surrounding teeth or the full smile.
  • Oral surgery – When the braces are in position, the patient visits our team so a space can be made for the canine to erupt. We’ll make a small incision in the gums, access the impacted tooth, and attach an orthodontic bracket and chain to the canine. Used in conjunction with the pre-placed orthodontia, the tooth is guided down into the natural smile line.
  • Continued orthodontic care – Once the tooth is guided into position, the orthodontist will continue to monitor the patient’s treatment to ensure the tooth remains properly in line. If all seems to be healing well, the person should not have to return to our office, and continued care is handled by the orthodontist.
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