Impacted Canines

Correct the cornerstone of your smile.

It isn’t common, but if you’re experiencing an impacted canine tooth, we’ll set it right.

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What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth is blocked or stuck underneath the gum line and does not erupt into its correct position on its own. Canine teeth are the second most commonly impacted teeth, after a third molar (wisdom tooth). 

Canines are located at the corners of the upper and lower arches, next to the four front incisors, and are functionally important to your smile. Because of their long roots, canines are exceptionally strong, stable teeth and foundational to the alignment and spacing of the other teeth. Their pointed edge (cusp) is important to grasp and tear food.

Why do canine teeth become impacted?

Canines can get impacted for several reasons:

  • The baby canine tooth doesn’t fall out appropriately. 
  • Upper canines are normally the last permanent teeth to erupt (typically around age 12 or 13), so improper jaw growth or crowding of other permanent teeth prevents the canine from coming in properly.
  • The erupting permanent teeth may be very large making it difficult for normal sized jaws to accommodate them.
  • The jaws may be too small to accommodate teeth of a proper dimension.
  • An oral habit (tongue thrust, finger or thumb sucking, etc.) may have altered the position of baby or adult teeth or the shape of the arches themselves.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic examination by age seven. We’ll monitor the eruption of your child's teeth and detect impactions early. Early detection translates to the most efficient treatment.

How do you treat an impacted canine tooth?

We first determine if the baby canine needs to be removed and we look for other blockages (like a cyst). 

If the tooth needs more support, we recommend a simple surgical procedure. First, an oral surgeon or periodontist will we expose the tooth by cutting a small flap in the surrounding gum. The tooth may be left to erupt on its own or an orthodontic bracket will be attached to the tooth to help guide its movement to the ideal position in your child’s mouth.

Get in Touch!

Text or call: (413) 443-0644

435 South St Pittsfield, MA 01201

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