A tooth is considered impacted when it cannot erupt through its natural growth path. Impaction occurs for a variety of reasons, including dental crowding and structures blocking the growth track. The most likely teeth to become impacted are the canines, which are positioned on either side of your upper four front teeth. Our oral surgeons at Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center can evaluate and treat impacted canines at our offices in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera.
Early Detection and Treatment
Regular checkups with your dentist throughout childhood can prevent impaction and other oral health problems. Permanent adult canines usually erupt around age 13, although most dental professionals recommend panoramic X-rays around age 7. This allows enough time for your dentist and/or orthodontist to prepare enough space for the canines to grow in if necessary. Canines should erupt on their own if there is enough room for them to grow in by age 11 or 12.
Sometimes, impacted canines can also be prevented using orthodontic treatments, such as braces. This can help clear a path for the canines to grow into their proper position. In more difficult cases, such as overdue baby teeth or structures blocking the growth track, an oral surgeon may be necessary to expose the impacted tooth.
Treating Impacted Canines
Before the age of 12, roots can begin to form above the teeth if there is not a clear eruption path for the canines. Overdeveloped roots can signal that the teeth will be unable to erupt on their own, regardless of if a path has been cleared or not. In these cases, an oral surgeon may need to perform a treatment called expose and bonding.
An orthodontist and an oral surgeon will work together for exposure and bonding treatment, and the process can span several months. First, your teeth will be prepared for braces. Next, you will come in for your surgical procedure, which involves the oral surgeon exposing the trapped tooth beneath the gums. A small bracket and chain will be attached to the exposed tooth. Once the surgical sites have healed, your orthodontist will use the bracket and chain to pull the canines gently into position.
Untreated impacted canines may never be able to grow into their proper position. In this situation, the impacted tooth is extracted, and dental implants are used to replace the canines.
Impacted Canine Treatment at Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center
Our expert oral surgeons are here to help. If you or your child have impacted canines or molars, our surgical staff is highly trained. Our oral surgeons at Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center have years of experience in treating patients of all ages for impacted teeth. For more information and to learn about your treatment options, contact our office, and a member of our staff will be happy to assist you.