Impacted Canines

An impacted tooth simply means that it is buried beneath the gum in the jaw bone and cannot erupt into function.

A canine tooth is the second most common tooth to become impacted. It is a critical tooth in the dental arch and plays an important role in your bite because they are designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaw closes together. They guide the rest of your teeth into the proper bite.

Usually, canine teeth come into place around age 13 and cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tighter together.

Sixty percent of these impacted canines are located on the roof of the mouth in the dental arch but if a canine tooth becomes impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch.

Early detection of an impacted canine is important because the dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon will be able to determine the best method to help the tooth fit into place. Usually your general dentist or orthodontist will take an X-ray to determine if any teeth are impacted and to make sure growth is normal. If the oral surgeon needs to be involved, it is usually because the tooth is not positioned to erupt normally.

The surgery to expose and bracket an impacted tooth is a very straightforward surgical procedure that is performed in the oral surgeon’s office. For most patients, the procedure will be performed under IV sedation. In selected cases it is performed with using laughing gas and local anesthesia. These issues will be discussed in detail at your preoperative consultation with your doctor.