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Impacted Canines


Child with Impacted Canine TeethYou hear the words impacted tooth, and you most likely think of the wisdom teeth. While it is true that the wisdom teeth are the ones that are most commonly affected by this issue, the canines are also frequently affected. Impaction more often affects the maxillary canines or the ones in the upper arch. Impacted canines can cause many issues. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, we can expose these teeth and bring them into proper alignment.

Why Canines Become Impacted


The canines can become impacted if you, or your child, have extra teeth in the upper jaw. These extra teeth can prevent adult canines from developing properly or block them from erupting. Alternatively, there may simply not be enough room when there are additional teeth in the jaw.

Crooked teeth in the upper jaw can impede proper eruption. The upper canines are the last of the adult teeth to erupt. The maxillary canines already have limited space to come in. If all of the other teeth have come in and are crowded, there will not be any space for the canines to erupt.

Are the Canines That Important?


While all of your teeth are important, the upper canines play an especially important role in your mouth. These are the teeth that guide your jaws into proper alignment every time that you close your mouth. They hold, bite, and tear foods. They also have a visible location in your smile. If your canines do not come in properly, your smile will be affected as a result.

Consequences of Ignoring Impacted Canines


It is possible that ignoring impacted canines will not affect your mouth at all. They may just stay below the gumline and cause no problems at all. It is also very likely that you will be faced with several significant problems. As the canine tries to erupt, it may damage your surrounding teeth in the process. They can erode the roots of the adjacent teeth, causing serious problems such as infections. A cyst may develop in the jaw, which can destroy jawbone and push the other teeth out of alignment.

Treating Impacted Canines


It is possible to treat impacted canines with orthodontic treatment. Exposing these teeth is done after braces are placed on your teeth. The braces can help to create the necessary space for your canines to come in.

To expose the canines, a surgical procedure is needed. After making incisions in the gums, special brackets are bonded to them. A chain is attached to the brackets and then attached to your braces. Tension is applied to the chain. This tension helps to encourage the impacted canines to come through the gums. As the tooth erupts, the chain is adjusted to continue to apply pressure. Once the canines have erupted, braces will help to align them properly. Exposing and positioning impacted canines is a gradual process, and it can take a while for the process to be complete. It may be necessary for you, or your child, to wear braces for 2 years, or more, to achieve the best results.

For more information on impacted canines, and what we can do to help, call Senestraro Family Orthodontics at (503) 925-3335 today.
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