Sometimes, a tooth can become blocked from growing into the right position in the mouth, becoming partially or entirely trapped underneath the gums. When this happens, the tooth is said to be impacted. Wisdom teeth and canines are especially prone to impaction, although it can occur with any tooth in the mouth.
Many dental health professionals recommend that wisdom teeth are extracted as a preventive measure, regardless of impaction. However, since canine teeth are essential to the bite and function of the rest of the mouth, treating impacted canines is often recommended.
Common symptoms of an impacted tooth may include pain, red or swollen gums, persistent bad breath, or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Sometimes, an impacted tooth does not have any symptoms at all. A canine that is suspected to be impacted can be confirmed through an X-ray or CT scan.
Impaction can occur in the canine teeth for several reasons:
In general, treating an impacted canine requires an oral surgeon and orthodontist working together, and early treatment is often recommended to preserve oral health and function.
The first step for treating an impacted canine requires a space to be created in the mouth for the tooth to grow into. An orthodontist will create this space using braces, which apply constant pressure to shift the teeth into their new positions gently. Once this space has been created, the oral surgeon will expose the impacted tooth through a minor surgical procedure. The exposed tooth will then have an orthodontic bracket bonded to it with a small chain attached so that the orthodontist can guide the tooth into the right place as it grows in.
Local anesthetic and IV sedation are common options for anesthesia for impacted tooth exposure, but all of your options for anesthesia will be discussed during your first visit to our practice. Dr. Kurtz and Dr. Lee have two practices located in Danbury, CT, and New Milford, CT.
If your child has been referred for impacted tooth exposure, we hope you will think of Greater Connecticut Oral & Dental Implant Surgery for exceptional oral surgery care. We treat every patient like family and will customize a treatment plan that is designed to achieve the best possible outcome.