Impacted teeth can be painful hassles that cause problems for many aspects of your oral health, particularly with alignment. Improper alignment can then lead to many other challenges. Impacted canines, in particular, can cause much damage. Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio are up for the challenge that they present. We have years of experience that make us prime candidates to address all of your oral surgical needs. If you or your child is struggling with the damages of impacted canines, set up an appointment today and we can help you.
What is an impacted canine?
Impaction can occur with any tooth, and it means that the tooth cannot erupt into the arch of your teeth in the way that it is supposed, but gets stuck in the bone or gum tissue of your mouth. Most commonly, you hear this about wisdom teeth. However, it can also happen to your canines. In fact, that is the second most commonly failed tooth. Because this tooth plays such an important role in your mouth, we cannot remove it as we would your wisdom teeth. Canines are the strongest teeth for biting, with the longest roots out of all of your teeth. They also are the first teeth that touch when you bite down, which acts as a guide for the rest of your teeth when biting or chewing. They are also the last of your front teeth to come in, usually around 13 years of age.
What happens if it is impacted?
If your canine is impacted, we take all possible measures to get it to erupt into your arch the way it should. The chances are that the tooth, if impacted, will be on the inside of the arch, but stuck beneath the gums, or it may be in the middle bone but stuck behind or beneath the other teeth. Getting this tooth to erupt combines the efforts of orthodontists and surgeons, and each procedure we may use is unique, which is partly why they can be a challenge. Most commonly, braces will be put on the upper arch first to open up space for the tooth to come out.
Once there is a proper gap, our surgeons will expose the tooth and bracket it with the same orthodontic brackets used with your braces. We will cut into the gums where the tooth is supposed to be and open them up to expose the tooth. Then we can attach a gold chain to the bracket and attach that to the wire for your braces. The gums will either be sutured out of the way to heal, leaving a window for the bracket or will be left to heal over the bracket with the chain coming out of a hole. After a week or two, a rubber band will be put on the chain to slowly and steadily exert pressure on the tooth to pull it out and keep it where it needs to be. We want to move the tooth, not remove it!
We will take the best possible care of you during this potentially long procedure, and Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio assure you that there is no one better to handle such a touchy process. We will keep you comfortable and informed every step of the way.