Impacted Canines

Wisdom teeth often are impacted and canine teeth can be impacted as well. An impacted tooth simply means that the tooth is stuck and cannot erupt into function because of bone, fibrous tissue or another tooth.. The upper canine, or eye tooth, normally erupts into the mouth between the ages of 11 and 13. Sometimes teeth can develop in an abnormal position and the upper canine is the most common tooth to be affected in this way.

The upper canine has a long root making it a strong tooth and is vital for biting and developing a normal smile. In some cases impacted canine teeth can be left alone and will remain un-erupted for many years, possibly a whole lifetime. They can, however, damage the roots of other front teeth or push them out of position. They can also interfere with the orthodontic movement of other teeth.

Treatment is almost always provided as part of on-going orthodontic treatment to help the teeth to erupt normally into the mouth. Every patient’s case will be different therefore depending on the exact position of the un-erupted tooth there are different surgical treatments.

One main treatment is extraction. This will be recommended if your mouth is overcrowded for any reason. The extraction will generally be performed under local anesthetic. The un-erupted canine will then be exposed by lifting the gum, and guided into place using a special bracket.

If you are a younger patient, an orthodontic brace may be fitted to create a space on the dental arch for the impacted canine. Surgery for impacted canines usually does not require an overnight stay. Pain medication will be prescribed as necessary, and we will provide you with post treatment advice for your recovery.