The canines are the pointed teeth on either side of the four upper and lower front teeth. Canines have very long roots, and they are critical to the development of your overall bite. When the adult canines become impacted (trapped beneath the gums), your child may need an oral surgeon to help expose the teeth and bring them into proper position.
Here at Hill & Ioppolo Oral and Facial Surgeons of Lubbock, we work with you and your orthodontist to evaluate and treat impacted canines at our office in Lubbock, TX.
Why do teeth become impacted?
Sometimes, the reason that teeth become impacted is unclear, but usually, one of the following reasons leads to the impaction:
- Lack of space or overcrowding
- Extra teeth in the mouth
- Growth blocking the tooth’s path
- Baby teeth not falling out in time
Treatment and Prevention
Sometimes, these issues can be prevented through regular dental checkups and orthodontic work. Braces alone may be able to clear the growth track for the canines if the issue is caught early enough. But if the canines do not have space to grow in after the roots start developing (around age 11 or 12), surgical treatment may be necessary to help the canines come into position. If the teeth are trapped behind the gums for too long, they may never come into position. If this is the case, your oral surgeon may be able to extract the impacted teeth and replace them with dental implants, which will look and feel just like natural teeth.
Exposure and Bonding Treatment
If clearing the growth track does not help the canines grow in, exposure and bonding may be recommended to treat the impacted canines. The exposure and bonding treatment is a team effort between your orthodontist and your oral surgeon. Usually, your orthodontist will first clear space for the teeth using braces. Then, the patient will go to an oral surgeon for the exposure procedure. Your oral surgeon will move the gums covering the tooth and remove any growths or structures blocking the path of the tooth. The surgeon will then attach a bracket (for braces) and a tiny chain to the canine tooth using a bonding agent. Within a week or two of the procedure, you will return to your orthodontist. The orthodontist will use the bracket along with your existing braces to gently guide the tooth into its proper place.
Treatment for Impacted Canines in Lubbock, TX
If you or your child has impacted canines, Hill & Ioppolo Oral and Facial Surgeons of Lubbock can help. Whether you need exposure and bonding or another treatment, our staff can help you evaluate your condition and find the right treatment method for you. Contact our office in Lubbock, TX, for more information.