Some of the most important teeth we have in our mouth are the canine teeth. We use them for biting into our food with their sharp tips. Also known as “eye teeth,” we have two in our upper and lower jaws by the time we’re adults since these are the last to come in due to their long roots. When these vital pearly whites fail to erupt through our gum line, we have an impacted canine situation that requires a skilled oral health care professional to correct the issue.
Reasons Why Canine Teeth Become Impacted
There are many reasons why one of these teeth might fail to enter our mouth correctly, but if left without care, impacted teeth can affect:
- Tooth positioning in the rest of your mouth
- How you speak
- Your ability to chew
Why these teeth become impacted in the first place can be due to a variety of reasons, but there are many options available to correct the problem and restore your smile.
Some patients have more teeth than normal in their mouths which gets in the way of the natural eruption of their canines. These extras can prevent normal development of these teeth or block them from ever coming in naturally.
When teeth suffer from poor alignment issues, especially in the front, you might have an overcrowding condition. This means that space between teeth and for them to erupt isn’t available and prevents an important tooth like your canine from progressing through the gum correctly. Situations like this lead to impaction.
Abnormal Tissue Growth
Though unusual, abnormal soft tissue growths could be the reason a gum prevents or hinders a canine tooth from coming in normally. This condition can create an impaction later down the road that requires care.
Other Causes of Impacted Canines
There are numerous other reasons one might experience impaction of their canine teeth, including but not limited to:
- Premature loss of baby teeth
- Size and shape of your teeth do not match up
If your dentist discovers that you’re suffering from one or both of your canine teeth being impacted, you will receive a referral to an oral surgeon to correct the problem.
Treatment Options For Impacted Canine Teeth
Like many other dental conditions, impacted canines respond to treatment earlier in life than later. It’s important to not put off this critical oral care so you have the best chances of your teeth coming in the correct way, without complications. For older patients, there is a risk that eruption isn’t possible despite there being room in the mouth.
Typically, your regular dentist will discover this issue through routine x-rays and dental exams at your yearly checkup. Depending on your situation, your dental provider may suggest some of the following procedures that can rectify the problem:
Removal of Baby Canines
Out with the old and in with the new goes the saying, and this is often the case for those with childhood teeth. This opens up enough space for your canines to come into place easily. It’s possible it still may not erupt correctly, and this option is best for preteens who have stubborn baby teeth in the way.
Exposing the Impacted Canine and Moving It
For canine teeth still in the gum, a procedure called “exposure” is a solution. By creating a small incision in your palate where the crown of your tooth is, an oral surgeon can determine the best method of bringing it down to alignment. Sometimes, this requires the removal of adjacent teeth to make room, or orthodontic braces to help pull everything into place over time.
Transplantation of the Impacted Canine
Transplanting a canine tooth that has an impaction issue may sound extreme, but sometimes it just isn’t possible to save the tooth via “exposure”. If there is room in your mouth, but the canine is in a location that isn’t maneuverable, a transplant may help. This involves taking out the permanent tooth and installing it in the correct position in your gum line.
Removal of Impacted Canines
There are times when it just isn’t possible to maneuver a canine or the surrounding teeth to resolve the impaction. When this occurs, your oral surgeon may have to remove the embedded tooth completely to avoid future complications to your jawbone and current dental alignment. If there is a gap where the tooth should have erupted, or you have a new space from the impaction’s removal, there are additional options to correct this situation.
Impacted Canine Relief by a Top New Jersey OMF Surgeon
Choosing the best New Jersey oral and maxillofacial surgeon is vital when undergoing an impacted canine procedure. You need the best techniques and state-of-the-art care for your surgical needs. At Union City Oral Surgery, our office uses the latest equipment and methodology for your care so you get the best results from the latest dental advancements.
Our OMF surgeon, Dr. Nancy Herbst, has more than 25 years of dental surgery experience. Her dedication to exceptional patient care focuses on comfort and compassion, which has earned her recognition as one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists in 2019.
Contact our office today online or call us at (201) 601-9262 to schedule a consultation today!