Impacted canines

When canine teeth become impacted, oral surgeons work with orthodontists to help them emerge into the dental arch with an expose and bond procedure.

What is an impacted tooth?

When a tooth is stuck and cannot erupt into the mouth, it is considered to be impacted. Typically, this occurs with wisdom teeth but can just as easily occur with canine teeth. These teeth are the last of the front teeth to erupt into place and usually come in around the age of 13. When a canine tooth gets impacted, efforts should be made as soon as possible to expose this tooth and reposition it correctly in the dental arch through a safe and effective procedure called expose and bond. This procedure involves frequent communication between your oral surgeon and your orthodontist.

Drs. Beech and Reid have many years of experience treating impacted canines. If your dentist has referred you or your child for the treatment of impacted canines, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. During your consultation, we can discuss anesthesia options and customize your treatment plan to be exactly what you need to be treated comfortably.

What causes canine impaction?

All of your teeth should develop in healthy alignment for optimal performance and appearance of your mouth and smile. When a tooth grows abnormally, or there is an irregularity in the forming of teeth in the mouth, an oral surgeon is necessary to examine and treat the affected tooth to better the overall health of all of the teeth.

There are many factors that could cause a canine to become impacted. Typically, it is due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Having extra teeth in your mouth may block the eruption progress of the canine and cause congestion, which leaves little or no room on the dental arch for the canine
  • Poor alignment of your teeth may cause overcrowding, which leads to your teeth having to compete for space
  • In some cases, abnormal growths of soft tissue of the gum restrict the proper eruption of canine teeth
  • Genetics
  • Early loss or removal of baby teeth
  • Mismatched shape and/or size of teeth

Whether you or your child are visiting our practice for the treatment of an impacted canine, you are in excellent hands of a caring staff and devoted professionals. Our board-certified oral surgeons work closely with orthodontists to successfully perform expose and bond procedures, and in the rare instance where treating the impacted canine is not possible, Drs. Beech and Reid are happy to discuss options for permanent tooth replacement, such as a dental implant.

The expose and bond procedure

Every patient is different. However, for most expose and bond procedures, your oral surgeon and orthodontist will work together to get an unerupted canine to emerge in the mouth. Typically, your orthodontist will place braces on the teeth to make a space that the canine will have room to move into. Once the space is ready, we can now expose and bracket the tooth.

This is a simple surgical procedure that is performed in one of our offices, conveniently located in Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Milpitas, CA. Dr. Beech or Dr. Reid will administer the chosen method of anesthesia and lift the gum on top of the impacted tooth, exposing the canine underneath. If a baby tooth is present, it will be removed. Then, your surgeon will bond an orthodontic bracket with a small chain attached to the exposed tooth. The surgical site will be stitched closed, leaving only the chain visible as it exits a small hole in the gum and is still attached to the canine. The chain is used to help guide the canine into the dental arch.

You can expect to return to the orthodontist within 2 weeks of your surgery, where the process of moving the tooth into its proper place using a rubber band will begin. The length of this process varies from patient to patient, and we work closely with you to ensure you experience minimal discomfort and are well informed throughout the entire process.

Managing an impacted canine tooth with an expose and bond procedure is highly effective. Drs. Beech and Reid are here to make sure your procedure goes smoothly, and your care is a top priority at all times. If you have questions regarding impacted canines and expose and bond procedures, please contact our friendly staff today.