Impacted Canines

Introduction / Benefits of Procedure

Canine teeth play an important role in our mouths. Not only are these strong teeth important for chewing, but these teeth are critical in the establishment of your bite. Due to their position in the dental arch, these teeth are critical in establishing the proper alignment of the rest of your teeth and serve to guide your bite during proper chewing.

After wisdom teeth, canine teeth are the most likely to become impacted, usually because of crowding. Impacted teeth don't erupt properly due to space limitations and can at times be painful. They may stay completely trapped in the bone or gum tissue, or start to erupt in the wrong location, causing problems such as damage to adjacent teeth and misalignment of your bite.

Description of Procedure

Your oral surgeon will determine the best way to move your impacted teeth into the proper position. For severe crowding, your surgeon may recommend extracting nearby teeth, then uncovering the canines so they can be guided into position. Sometimes orthodontic appliances can be used to create space for canine teeth. For some unerupted canines that are especially out of position, oral surgery will be necessary to set them on course.

When this is necessary, the tooth is uncovered and an orthodontic bracket is attached to the tooth to help guide it into the proper position. The bracket will be used by your orthodontist to slowly guide the tooth into its proper position in the dental arch over several months.