In some cases, teeth do not erupt properly through the jawbone and gum tissue, into the mouth. Maxillary canines are the most commonly impacted, after wisdom teeth. Impacted teeth may cause problems including bone loss, root resorption, or formation of cysts or tumors.
At Park Smiles NYC, we have extensive experience in the detection and treatment of impacted canines. As with all of our other procedures, we’re here to serve our valued patients with an unsurpassed commitment to safe, pain-free and effective treatment should you or your child be diagnosed with an impacted tooth!
Humans have four canine teeth: two upper (maxillary) canines and two lower (mandibular) canines. They are located laterally to each lateral incisor, directly beneath the eyes. Since they are located at the corners of the mouth, they are essential for maintaining the aesthetic appearance of a smile. They also play a pivotal role in the ‘biting’ mechanism of the teeth. They are the last teeth to fall into place, and therefore, help with correct alignment of other teeth in the dental arch by closing any gaps in the front teeth.
Tooth impaction means that a tooth has failed to fully erupt and function after the expected time of eruption. On average, maxillary canine teeth are expected to fully erupt by age 13. However, canine teeth are the second most commonly impacted teeth, and maxillary canine impaction occurs in approximately 2% of the population.
Some of the most common reasons for canine teeth impaction include improper alignment of front teeth and the presence of extra teeth that compete for available space. These two reasons prevent natural eruption of canine teeth.
The most critical aspect in prevention of canine teeth impaction is early detection of tooth displacement during routine dental examinations.
Diagnosis of canine teeth impaction is based on both clinical and radiographic evaluation. Cone beam computed tomography provides a 3-D view of the impacted canine teeth. This information allows us to perform the surgical exposure accurately with minimal bleeding and discomfort.
If the displacement of canine teeth is detected early, an attempt should be made to prevent their impaction. Treatment options include selective extraction of deciduous (primary) canines to normalize the position of the displaced permanent canines. The most desirable approach is surgical exposure followed by orthodontic treatment to allow impacted canines to erupt and help align them on the dental arch.
During the surgical procedure, Dr. Cohen bonds a small gold chain to the displaced canine. Over time (weeks to months), the tooth is then guided into position by putting pressure on this gold chain to bring the tooth into proper position. Extraction of impacted canine teeth is not recommended, except in very rare cases.
Impacted canines can be a serious problem — but the good news is that with the proper treatment it’s often possible to bring them into alignment with the rest of your smile. If you would like more information about treating impacted canine teeth, call Park Smiles NYC today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Cohen.
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