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18555 N 79th Ave Suite A-103
Glendale, AZ 85308-8370

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Ways of Helping an Exposed Canine Shift into Place


Posted on 3/25/2017 by Dr. Michael Allard
A woman suffering from an exposed canine tooth.
Your canines are some of the most important teeth you have. They have the strongest biting force and are responsible for guiding your bite. These teeth are the last of the front teeth to erupt, usually around the age of 13.

The canines are also the second most common teeth, wisdom teeth being the first, to become impacted. While the wisdom teeth can be extracted with very few repercussions on your bite, the canines are too important to extract. For this reason, they need to be exposed and shifted into proper place.

What Does It Mean to Be Impacted?
When a tooth is impacted, it simply means that it cannot erupt properly in place. It may be stuck under the gums, have something in the way, be angled to the side and growing into adjacent teeth, or there may not be enough space.

In some cases, it may only partially emerge. Impacted teeth can lead to pain, damage to surrounding teeth, or infection, and need to be addressed. Wisdom teeth can be removed with surgery, but canines play a crucial role in your bite.

Orthodontic Treatment

Learning early that canines may have an issue erupting into place properly is important. X-rays are often involved. The mouth is evaluated to make sure there is sufficient space for the canines to grow. If there is insufficient space, orthodontic treatment may be called for. Braces can help to make room for canines. Later, a bracket can be placed on the exposed canine to help it shift into proper placement.

Oral Surgery

The mouth is also examined for anything that can obstruct the path of canines. This can include extra teeth or baby teeth that have not fallen out. If there is anything in the way, an oral surgeon is needed to remove it.

If the tooth does not erupt on its own, further surgery is often needed to expose the tooth.

Impacted canines often need help getting into place. Doing so requires the joint efforts of an orthodontist and an oral surgeon. If you are concerned about an impacted canine, yours or your child's, contact our office for a consultation.

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