Impacted canines are canine teeth that are stuck, blocked, or unable to erupt fully due to problems in the mouth. They are the last teeth to fully erupt and often come into place around the age of 13.
Canines are some of the most important teeth. Also referred to as fangs, cuspids, or “eye teeth” because of their position in relation to the eyes, untreated impacted canines can have drastic long-lasting effects on the mouth’s functionality:
Canines are the first teeth to touch food when eating. Their alignment when biting guides the rest of the teeth into place.
Proper Function & Alignment
Canines are essential for keeping the jaw aligned and functioning properly. When canines are missing, the jaw can easily lose its functionality.
Canines fall into place last and close unsightly gaps in the teeth. Without them, the mouth loses much of its aesthetic appearance.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the teeth most commonly impacted. These teeth serve no purpose in the mouth, so impacted molars can be extracted with no negative results. But as you can see, canines are extremely important to the overall health of the mouth.
Canines also have the longest roots out of all teeth. Their roots are more conical and thicker than incisors and have a firmer connection to the jaw, making them harder to extract if necessary.
Why do canines become impacted?
Canines can become impacted for a few reasons:
Overcrowding – When the front teeth are not properly aligned, other existing teeth are pushed out of place and must compete for space. When this happens, there may not be room for canines to come in.
Unusual growths – Although rare, growths can form on the soft tissue of the gums, preventing canines from falling into place.
Extra teeth – Extra teeth can result in overcrowding or direct blockage of canines. Without enough room in the dental arch for canines, they will become impacted.
To prevent your child from developing impacted canines, take them to the Brooklyn dentist for their bi-annual checkups. As the child grows, their dentist will keep track of the development of their teeth and count the number of teeth present. By the age of 7, the dentist will be able to record the presence or absence of canines.
The older the patient is, the more difficult it will be for canines to come in properly. If your child is missing their canine teeth or their canines are not fully erupted, talk to your dentist about treatment options.
How to treat impacted canines?
If your dentist in Brooklyn, NY detects impacted canines, they will do a thorough visual examination and a Panorex X-ray or individual X-ray to determine the cause. Once this is done, treatment options can be discussed.
For overcrowded mouths, your dentist may recommend tooth extraction. This can be done by an oral surgeon using local anesthetic. Once the extra teeth are extracted, the dentist can lift the gum and guide the impacted canine into place using a special bracket.
For younger patients, orthodontic braces can be used to ensure that there is room for canines to grow.
Impacted canine surgery in Brooklyn and other treatments do not usually require an overnight stay. Pain medication will be prescribed if necessary and post-operative instructions will be provided to you throughout your recovery.