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Impacted Canines


Image of impacted canines at West End Dental OfficeVery few people are born with perfect teeth and a properly aligned bite. The rest of us have to undergo some corrective treatment during our lives. A common oral health problem involves impacted canines. Depending on the severity of the issue, we here at West End Dental may recommend many treatment options to correct your impacted teeth.

What Causes Impacted Canines?


Impacted canines occur when one or more teeth fails to erupt above the gum tissue in its correct position. When this happens, the tooth may become trapped below the gums, often resulting in painful symptoms detrimental to your oral health. Canines may also be partially impacted with a portion of the tooth visible in the mouth.

Behind wisdom teeth, the maxillary canine is the second most common tooth to become impacted. Early detection of an impacted canine is key. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a digital x-ray screening for children to determine if eruption issues are imminent.

An x-ray will help us conclude why and how your child’s canine may be impacted. Most impactions occur due to an insufficient amount of space in the alveolar ridge, or part of the jawbone that supports the teeth. reasons may be the result of a smaller ridge, large teeth, or extra teeth.

Reasons to Address Impacted Canines


There are several reason to address impacted canines. A healthy, functional, and beautiful smile should have teeth that grow in at the proper alignment. One or more impacted teeth can affect the cosmetics and efficiency of other teeth.

The maxillary canine teeth are usually the last anterior (front) teeth to erupt into place, usually around 13 years of age. Because they are some of the last permanent teeth to erupt, impaction can occur due to a lack of space or other misaligned teeth. An impacted canine can result in:
•  Cysts, or the abnormal growths of sensitive tissues on or below the gums
•  Ankylosis, or a tooth root that causes issues with the surrounding bone due to improper fusion
•  Delayed eruption of other permanent teeth
•  A malocclusion, or misaligned bite
•  Pain or discomfort in the jaw, gums, and surrounding teeth

Possible Procedures for Impacted Canines


The treatment we recommend to address an impacted canine varies from patient to patient. Depending on you or your child’s circumstance, Dr. James Krippaehne may perform one of the following procedures:
•  Tooth extraction: Extracting an impacted canine can alleviate crowding issues and painful symptoms. If the problem occurs with a primary (baby) tooth, we will guide the permanent canine into its proper position with an orthodontic appliance. If the problem occurs with a permanent tooth, we will suggest a possible replacement option, such as a bridge or dental implant.
•  Orthodontics: Conventional braces are the most common treatment option for an impacted canine. Other orthodontic appliances may also be used to hold open space in the arch, allowing the impacted canine to erupt.
•  Oral Surgery: In complex or severe instances of impaction, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgery for impacted canines is usually simple, quick, and painless. We use local anesthetic to numb the area and reduce discomfort. Surgery may be the best way to correct a problematic course of eruption.

Schedule Your Consultation


If you currently have impacted canines, take action today! Call (503) 446-2957 to schedule a consultation appointment.
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