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Impacted Canines

Studies have shown that about 3% of the human population has either one or two impacted or more eyeteeth. There are many thoughts as to what causes this phenomena but no one reason is the total cause. Certainly small sized dental arches may leas to crowding and displacement of the eyetooth to either the cheek-lip side (buccal position) or most commonly as seen, displaced to the roof of the mouth (palatal position). One or more impacted teeth have been diagnosed for your particular dental condition and there are some recommendations for you to consider. Treatment for this condition can be varied ranging from:

Removal of the impacted the impacted tooth (teeth) followed by future replacement utilizing a dental implant or other prosthesis.

Surgical uncovering (opening a window in the gum tissue) of the impacted tooth by your dentist, Periodontists (gum disease specialist) or oral surgeon. Once uncovered, and orthodontic bracket is attached to the impacted tooth, braces are placed on the rest of the teeth and space is created (if needed) allowing the impacted tooth to be brought into position. A follow-up gum tissue revision around the impacted tooth (teeth) may be needed prior to or just following the removal of the braces.

Leave the tooth as is and have your family dentist monitor it carefully, as the tooth may migrate into the root of an adjacent tooth (teeth) and cause damage. If the tooth is positioned on the cheek-side it can “grow out” of the gums and be of because of it’s ‘fang like” appearance, making it difficult to keep the area clean.

Tooth movement takes a long time and there are risks and limitations to consider when moving the impacted tooth. Depending on the position of the impacted tooth, there could be bone or tissue loss around it, this can occur during or after the movement. As well, the root of the impacted tooth may shorten during its movement (root resorption). The nerve-blood vessel complex in the impacted tooth may be or become non-vital during movement resulting in the need for root canal treatment. Some studies have previously reported this occurs in 20-25% if these teeth, this reflects the original severity of the problem and the difficulty in moving the tooth (teeth).

Please consider these options and outcomes very carefully. If you have any questions regarding the orthodontic treatment program we have described for your condition, please don’t hesitate to call our office.


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