A tooth that is stuck beneath the gums, either partially or completely, is said to be impacted. While impaction can happen to any tooth, wisdom teeth and canines are the most susceptible.
While it is typically recommended to remove wisdom teeth, regardless of impaction, canine teeth serve an essential purpose to the mouth. If a canine tooth is impacted, oral surgeons and orthodontists will work hand in hand to expose the impacted tooth to allow it to come in correctly.
The last primary teeth to grow into the mouth are the canines, which typically come in around the age of 11 or 12. They are helpful for tearing food and guiding the alignment of the other teeth. Canines are commonly affected by impaction for a few reasons:
- Baby teeth not falling out in time
- Unusual growths that block the tooth’s path
- Lack of space in the mouth
- Rarely, the presence of extra teeth that crowd the canines
Exposing impacted canines as early as possible allows the teeth the best chance to grow in normally on their own. Regular checkups with your dentist can ensure that your child’s teeth are developing properly, and they can refer kids to us if further treatment is needed. Diagnosis of an impacted tooth can be confirmed through an X-ray or CT scan.
To expose an impacted tooth, your orthodontist or general dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon. First, your orthodontist will work to move the surrounding teeth into position and create a space for the impacted tooth to be exposed. Then, your oral surgeon will gently remove any gum tissue or bone that may be in the way of the tooth. Your surgeon will bond a small chain to the newly exposed tooth, and your orthodontist will use that chain to guide the canine carefully into position as it grows in.
Patients can expect the exposure of an impacted tooth to be a simple, in-office procedure performed with local or IV sedation. However, like with any oral surgery procedure, some discomfort afterward is to be expected.
Impacted Tooth Exposure
Please contact Central Washington Oral & Facial Surgery if you have been recommended for the treatment of impacted teeth. We are happy to schedule a consultation and discuss the treatment plan that is right for you. We look forward to caring for you.