When your teeth line up properly, your bite will function properly. Misaligned teeth cause several problems, including forming areas that are hard to brush and more conducive to bacterial growth.
One cause of misaligned teeth (also known as malocclusion) is impacted canines. If a tooth becomes impacted, this will negatively affect its function along with the appearance of your smile.
What Is an Impacted Canine?
One or both of your canine teeth can fail to come in properly and remain inside the alveolar bone, which is the ridge of bone that contains tooth sockets. Canine teeth that undergo this are referred to as impacted.
Causes of Impacted Canines
Impacted canines occur for many different reasons, including genetics, early loss or removal of baby teeth, problems with the number and alignment of your teeth, and the presence of teeth of different sizes and shapes. If you have extra teeth, they can hinder the natural growth of your canines and even block them from erupting. Poorly aligned front teeth can also lead to overcrowding.
Treating Impacted Canines
When you have impacted canines, they put undue pressure on the adjacent teeth and nerves, undermining their structure and causing pain.
We can opt to do nothing if there's a strong probability that the impacted teeth will stay buried and not cause any more problems. The teeth could keep growing behind your other teeth looking for a path to grow, damaging other teeth in the process. Impacted canines can also eat away at adjacent tooth roots.
Impacted teeth can also have cysts grow near the crown, which shifts nearby teeth out of place. If a baby canine is lost and the adult one remains impacted, we can fill the gap with a denture, crown, or bridge.
Uncovering and Repositioning the Impacted Tooth
If we decide to expose the buried tooth and move it into its proper position, we will do so in a procedure involving general anesthesia. This involves making a small incision in your palate to expose the impacted tooth's crown. Depending on how much space the canine needs to grow, we may need to remove the surrounding teeth and put in an orthodontic device to help your teeth stay properly aligned.
Extracting the Impacted Tooth
If an impacted tooth is stuck in a position that would make it very difficult to realign and it's causing problems for nearby teeth, we may have to remove it. This procedure is usually performed under local or general anesthesia. If a gap remains after the tooth is removed, we'll cover it with a bridge or denture.
Transplanting the Impacted Tooth to the Correct Position
If a surgical exposure wouldn't work well and the patient has adequate space between their teeth, then we may take this route. The procedure involves extracting the baby canine and the impacted permanent tooth, then placing the permanent tooth in the correct position. We usually brace the transplanted tooth for 2 to 3 weeks to it can stay in place.
For more information, please contact our office at 267-703-7877.