What is an Impacted Canine?
Canines are the pointed teeth located near the four corners of the mouth and are used for ripping and tearing food. These teeth have very long roots and are prone to becoming impacted, meaning that they do not grow into the dental arch properly and often remain under the gums. Impacted teeth can cause oral complications, including infection. The canine teeth are critical to oral function, so it is important to seek specialty care to assist in guiding them into their proper place in the dental arch.
When orthodontics alone cannot guide the tooth into place, an orthodontist may call upon Dr. Bryan and Dr. Goodson for surgical intervention. At Oral Surgery Specialists of Oklahoma, we work with patients of all ages, including young kids and teens, and perform exposure and bonding treatments for impacted teeth in our office. We can determine the size and position of impacted teeth using i-CAT™ 3D scanning technology. During your consultation, we will likely take scans of your face and teeth.
Causes of Impacted Canines
A patient’s canine teeth begin growing as early as age 10 and usually finish maturing in the early teens. Much like wisdom teeth, impacted canines are prone to impaction and often don’t have enough room to grow into the mouth. Some of the leading causes of canine tooth impaction include:
- Dental crowding with your surrounding teeth
- Baby teeth still present in the dental arch
- Extra teeth that require extraction
- Unexpected growths causing impaction
An orthodontist or general dentist is often the first to identify an impacted canine tooth. Sometimes, the problem can be solved by making room for the tooth with a simple extraction or orthodontic treatment. When these options fail, an oral surgeon is often necessary to guide the tooth into place. Our oral surgeons are more than happy to meet with you and your child to examine the current condition of your canine teeth and discuss the next steps in preserving your smile. Dr. Bryan and Dr. Goodson will discuss post-operative instructions, forms of anesthesia and sedation, and address any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure.
Exposure and Bonding Treatment
Exposure and bonding treatment is the most common procedure for impacted canines and can also be used to address impacted cuspids and premolars. This treatment is a collaborative process in which the orthodontist and oral surgeon work hand in hand to guide the adult tooth into place. Before the procedure, Dr. Bryan and Dr. Goodson will meet with you and your child for an initial consultation and discuss all of the options for treatment, including a range of choices for anesthesia to make the procedure more comfortable.
To begin the treatment, an orthodontist will use braces to guide the teeth into the correct position and make room for the impacted tooth to grow in. Next, the oral surgeon will remove any overlying gum tissue and bone to expose the tooth and attach a small bracket and chain. The orthodontist will then use the chain to gently pull the tooth down into the mouth and in line with the rest of the teeth.
Impacted Canines in Oklahoma City, OK
If your child has an impacted tooth, our doctors are happy to assist with treatment. The team at Oral Surgery Specialists of Oklahoma works with patients of all ages and aims to make the surgical experience comfortable and pleasant for you and your child. Contact our office in Oklahoma City, OK, to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons today!