Sometimes a tooth will get stuck as it’s trying to come in. A tooth is said to be impacted if it is completely or partially trapped beneath the gums. Wisdom teeth and canine teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted, but impacted can happen for any tooth.
While wisdom teeth are often extracted even if they are not impacted, canine teeth are very important to the bite and function of the mouth. Treating an impacted canine is a joint effort between an orthodontist and an oral surgeon to ensure the tooth comes into the right place in the mouth.
Around the age of 11 or 12, canine teeth will erupt into the mouth. This makes them the last primary teeth to come in. Canine teeth are essential to the mouth because they guide the alignment of the other teeth. An impacted canine tooth is common for several reasons:
- Baby teeth are still in place/do not fall out in time.
- The tooth’s path is blocked due to unusual growths.
- There is a misalignment of the surrounding teeth.
- Rarely, extra teeth in the mouth will prevent a canine tooth from coming in.
Regularly scheduled checkups with your dentist are important for everyone. Your dentist can follow the development of your child’s teeth and can refer or treat as soon as a problem arises. An X-ray or CT scan can confirm an impacted tooth if it is suspected. In general, an impacted canine should be exposed as early as possible to help it grow in on its own.
Exposing an impacted tooth means your oral surgeon and orthodontist will work together. First, your orthodontist will move the nearby teeth into new positions to create a space for the impacted tooth to come in. This procedure is performed in-office with local anesthesia or IV sedation. Then, your oral surgeon will perform a minor procedure to expose the impacted tooth. A small chain and orthodontic bracket are then bonded to the tooth, which your orthodontist will use to move the canine into place as it comes in.
Some discomfort after the exposure of the impacted tooth is normal and expected. Pain management options, along with pre- and post-operative instructions, will be discussed in advance of your procedure.
Impacted Tooth Exposure
If you or your child has an impacted tooth, Oral Surgery Services can help. We will create a customized treatment plan and help you to feel safe, comfortable, and informed every step of the way. We have two offices conveniently located in Metairie, LA, and Gretna, LA. We encourage you to call our office for a consultation. We look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.