Impacted Canines

An impacted tooth simply means that it is stuck and cannot erupt into function.

The maxillary canine (upper eyetooth) is the second most common tooth to become impacted after the third molar teeth.. The canine tooth is a critical tooth as it plays an important role in your bite. The canine teeth are very strong biting teeth and have the longest roots of any human teeth. They are designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaws close together so they guide the rest of the teeth into the proper bite.

Normally, the maxillary canine teeth are the last of the front teeth to erupt into place. They usually come into place around age 13 and cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tighter together. If a canine tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch.

In cases where the canine tooth will not erupt spontaneously, An orthodontist and myself work together to get these unerupted canine teeth to erupt. It is important that an orthodontist is involved as usually impacted canine teeth require the space to be opened so there is enough room for the tooth to position itself. Also the tooth will need to be guided into the correct position by the orthodontist.

The first step in moving the tooth into the correct position is to expose it so that the orthodontist can attach a bracket to the tooth that they can then use to guide the tooth into position. This is my job.

At the consultation I will discuss with both you and your child what is involved in their case and will recommend a treatment plan. Some teeth are very easy to expose and can be easily achieved under local anaesthetic. Some are very deeply impacted and will require extensive surgery to uncover and which case a general anaesthetic may be recommended.

I am very aware that for most teenagers this will be one of their first dental experiences. For this reason it is important to have an initial consultation with me so that they can meet me and be involved in the decision making process. I find if this happens most of the anxiety about the procedure can be overcome.