A tooth is said to be impacted when it is unable to erupt from the gums and into its proper position in the mouth. Bone and/or underlying gum tissue is a common cause for a tooth’s path to become blocked. Impaction can occur with any tooth, but wisdom teeth and canines are especially prone to impaction.
Most dental professionals recommend removing wisdom teeth whether or not they are impacted. Since canine teeth play an important function in the mouth, extra efforts are made to help the tooth erupt into its proper position. An oral surgeon and orthodontist will work together to expose the tooth and guide it into place. Exposing an impacted tooth is a very common treatment.
An impacted tooth can be confirmed with an X-ray or CT scan. As the last primary teeth to come in, canine teeth can become impacted for many reasons:
- Baby teeth or unusual growths that block the tooth’s path
- Poor alignment
- (Rarely) extra teeth in the mouth
The canine teeth are the four pointed teeth at the corners of the mouth and are essential to the proper alignment, bite, and function of other teeth. Exposing an impacted tooth as early as possible is often the best choice. With regular checkups, your family dentist will monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth and will refer to an oral surgeon for treatment of an impacted tooth.
Your oral surgeon will work hand in hand with an orthodontist to expose the impacted tooth. First, your orthodontist needs to make space in the mouth for the impacted tooth. Using braces, they will shift the teeth gently and strategically until the right space has been created. Next, your oral surgeon will surgically expose the impacted tooth in a minor procedure. A small chain and orthodontic bracket will be bonded to the tooth. As the canine erupts into the mouth, your orthodontist will use the chain to guide the tooth into place.
At California Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we want you to be as comfortable as possible. Local anesthesia or IV sedation are commonly used for the surgical exposure of an impacted tooth. Your anesthesia options and options for pain management following the procedure will be discussed and selected during your consultation appointment.
Impacted Tooth Exposure
We encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Larson or Dr. Park to learn more about how California Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center can best meet your oral surgery needs. If your child has an impacted tooth, we will work with you to create a treatment plan that will see you to your best result. We look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.