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Impacted canines

If a canine tooth is trapped beneath the gums and cannot emerge, it is considered to be impacted and is treated with an expose and bond procedure.

About impacted canines

Canines, like wisdom teeth, have a tendency to become impacted. The canines are some of the most important teeth in the mouth; they have the deepest and strongest roots of all the teeth, and they help guide the alignment of the other teeth. While an orthodontist can usually align the surrounding teeth to allow the canines to grow in normally, sometimes growths, other adult teeth, or primary teeth that haven’t fallen out yet can get in the way and cause complications. In these cases, you may be referred to an oral surgeon, who will work with your orthodontist to expose the teeth and guide them into proper alignment.

Benefits of early detection

The canines usually erupt around age 13, but having your child’s teeth examined before this stage can help prevent impaction. If the teeth are too crowded for canines to grow in naturally, an orthodontist can prescribe braces to align the teeth properly and allow the canines to move into place.

If other complications exist, or the tooth’s eruption path cannot be cleared, surgical treatment is usually successful in freeing up the impacted teeth. The longer you wait to treat the teeth, the harder it is for them to erupt properly. Eventually, the teeth could fuse with the jaw bone, making it impossible for them to grow into their proper positions. In these cases, we offer multiple permanent tooth replacement options, which can restore the function and aesthetics of your mouth.

Impacted canine treatment: exposure and bonding procedure

Your oral surgeon and orthodontist will work as a team to expose impacted canine teeth and guide them into their proper position. First, your orthodontist will prepare the teeth using braces. Once the growth track is clear, your oral surgeon will surgically expose the tooth by pushing back the gum tissue. A tiny bracket and chain will be attached to the tooth. A few days after your surgery, your orthodontist will attach these chains to small bands, which will apply a light pulling pressure to the tooth, eventually bringing the canine into its proper position.

If you or your child have impacted canines, contact our office in Kennewick, WA, for a consultation. Our surgeons will work with you and your orthodontist to form a custom treatment plan that best fits your needs and ensures a beautiful, healthy smile.