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Impacted Canines

boy with braces at Robinson Orthodontics When a tooth breaks through the gumline and becomes a working tooth, we say that it has "erupted." An impacted tooth is a tooth that will not erupt. Your canine teeth are the teeth near the front of your mouth that are on either side of your incisors (front teeth). They are called canine teeth because they resemble the front teeth of a dog. For most people, their canine teeth will erupt without a problem, but sometimes they will not come through. That is known as an impacted canine. While having an impacted canine might sound serious, here at Robinson Orthodontics we know exactly how to handle it.

Treatment of an Impacted Canine

When a canine tooth will not erupt properly, we need to take care of it. Here is what you will want to know.

When it comes to impacted teeth, you might automatically think about wisdom teeth. These molars are not needed, so if a wisdom tooth is impacted, we will just remove it. The same is not true for an impacted canine. Not only will you use your canines, if you are missing one it will change your overall appearance. That is why we will deal with an impacted canine in a different way than an impacted wisdom tooth.

The canine teeth will usually come in while your child is still young. That is one of the reasons why it is important that you bring your child in regularly. The sooner we realize that a canine tooth is impacted, the easier it will be to treat it.

Treatment of an impacted canine will usually start with oral surgery. It is a simple procedure in which the gum is lifted so that the tooth will be exposed. An orthodontic bracket will be placed on the exposed tooth.

A few days later the patient will come to our office. We will add a rubber band to the bracket and the tooth. This band will gently work to pull the tooth so that it will eventually end up in its proper place. Remember that this will take time; it will not happen overnight. It could take a full year for the tooth to erupt finally. We will keep an eye on the progress along the way.

After the tooth has finally erupted and has grown all the way in, we will examine the gums around the tooth. We might need to perform surgery on the gums, depending on whether or not they are strong enough to support the tooth.

One other thing that you need to keep in mind. Just because your child's baby tooth is still there does not mean that he or she does not have an impacted canine.

An impacted canine is usually easy to treat, but you will need to remember that it can take some time. Here at Robinson Orthodontics, we want to remind you that the sooner we catch the problem, the easier it is to treat it. Call (541) 441-8288 if you have any questions or to make an appointment.

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