For impacted canine teeth, extraction is not the solution.
The wisdom teeth have little to no effect on appearance or bite function. So, if they’re impacted, they’re extracted. When the canines, or cuspids, are stuck beneath the gumline and unable to erupt in the proper position, oral surgeons work with orthodontists to solve the problem – without removing the teeth.
Why Canine Teeth Become Impacted
The canines can become embedded within the gums for a number of reasons.
For some patients, impaction is a consequence of having extra teeth. With an overcrowded mouth, the canine may not have enough space to fully erupt.
In others, tooth misalignment is the cause of impaction. When the adjacent teeth emerge at an angle, they can block the cuspids from coming in properly.
For a small percentage of patients, cysts or other oral growths interfere with canine development and lead the teeth to move out of the proper position.
Why Treatment is Essential for Impacted Canines
When treating patients with impacted cuspids, saving the teeth is the optimal approach.
The canines are important teeth, as they’re necessary for proper bite and tooth alignment. If they’re impacted, the smile can severely suffer – the impaction can create problems with the nearby teeth and lead to a misaligned bite.
Without expert treatment, patients can end up with lopsided grins. This, for many children, is a source of self-consciousness and grounds for teasing by their peers.
How Oral Surgeons Treat Impacted Canine Teeth
Treating impacted cuspids usually takes a team effort between an oral surgeon and an orthodontist.
When overcrowding is the issue, an oral surgeon may remove some teeth to create enough room for the canines to come in. Or, if the teeth are completely encased within the gums, an oral surgeon may create an opening in the gum tissues. Once they are exposed, orthodontic brackets are bonded to the cuspids in order to guide them into place.
In some cases, orthodontic care is the first step. Some patients need braces to leave space for the canines to erupt properly or to keep them in the correct position as they emerge.
With the combined efforts of an experienced local oral surgeon and professional orthodontist, impacted canine teeth can be effectively treated. But, delays can create additional complications – so, impaction should be addressed as soon as possible.
If your child has impacted canines, the professional team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can help.
Based in Indianapolis, Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery serves patients throughout the central Indiana area. Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly, our board-certified oral surgeons, can work with a local orthodontist to give your child a healthy, perfectly-aligned smile. Contact our office and schedule a consultation to discuss treatment for impacted canine teeth today.