Most teeth erupt from the gums into their proper position in the mouth. Sometimes, a tooth’s path is blocked from bone and/underlying gum tissue. When this happens, a tooth becomes completely or partially trapped beneath the gums and is said to be impacted. Wisdom and canine teeth are the most commonly impacted teeth, but impaction can happen to any tooth.
Regardless of impaction, most dental professionals recommend the removal of wisdom teeth. However, canine teeth are important to the overall bite and function of the mouth — impacted canine teeth need a little extra help from an oral surgeon and an orthodontist to help the tooth into its proper position.
Canine teeth tend to emerge around the age of 11 or 12, and are the last primary teeth to come in. These important teeth are located at the corners of the mouth and help guide the alignment and function of other teeth. Canine teeth can become impacted for many reasons:
- Baby teeth are blocking the tooth’s path
- Unusual growths
- Poor alignment
- Extra teeth in the mouth (rare)
An X-ray or CT scan can confirm a suspected impacted tooth. Regular checkups with your family dentist ensure the development of your child’s teeth is carefully monitored, and you will be referred to an oral surgeon for further treatment if there an impacted canine tooth is discovered. An impacted canine tooth has the best chance for success if it is exposed as early as possible.
Exposing an impacted tooth requires careful coordination between an oral surgeon and an orthodontist. However, it is a fairly routine procedure. First, your orthodontist needs to create a space in the mouth for the impacted tooth to come in. They will do this by gently shifting the surrounding teeth with braces. Next, an oral surgeon will expose the impacted tooth. It is a minor procedure that involves a small chain and orthodontic bracket to be bonded to the tooth. Finally, your orthodontist will use the chain to guide the canine into its new position as it grows in.
When you come to Bonita Medical Center for the exposure of an impacted tooth, local anesthesia or IV sedation will be used to ensure you are comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Like any oral surgery procedure, some discomfort is to be expected afterward. Pain management options will be discussed during your consultation before any treatment begins.
Impacted Tooth Exposure in Santa Fe, NM
If your child has an impacted tooth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced oral surgeons. We can work together to create a treatment plan designed to provide the best result. Thank you for choosing Bonita Medical Center. We look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.