Impacted Canines Charlotte NC
When you have impacted teeth, it can do more than just ruin your smile. It can also cause a myriad of health problems, making it difficult to eat and even talk. Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery knows that impacted canines can be especially troublesome.
When people hear the term "impacted" as it relates to teeth, they almost always will think of wisdom teeth and while this does occur quite frequently with them, they are not the only teeth to which this can happen. It can, in fact, occur to any teeth. While wisdom teeth are extracted quite regularly while impacted, canines present a difficult and complicated situation. They can be so impacted that in many cases, multiple dental professionals are needed to complete the process. Oral surgeons, general dentists, and orthodontists are typically the ones consulted for guidance with this procedure.
We are here at Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery to answer your questions about this potentially complex procedure and to give you the details about what it might entail. Contact us today to set up your initial appointment to assess the situation of your impacted teeth.
What Causes Impacted Canines?
In the simplest terms, "impacted" means a particular tooth, in this case, canines, which failed to erupt fully through the gums. In some situations, these teeth can eventually correct themselves but in many others, they cannot and require surgical intervention.
Due to them being the final teeth to erupt, canines can create problems. They are incredibly important to a patient's oral cavity health. Most of the time they begin to come in when patients are about 11 years old. They are necessary to help with maintaining a proper bite and are essential for chewing food. They are also vital to help provide a shield against damage to other teeth and help to frame the patient's smile.
When patients have overcrowded teeth on top of misalignment issues, canines find it difficult to erupt in their correct place. If patients fail to lose their teeth in a timely manner, canines have nowhere to erupt and will seek any available space. Most times impacted canines can be traced back to genetics.
Understanding Impacted Canines
We all have four canine teeth, two on both the top and bottom jaw. These four pointy teeth are located at your mouth's "corners," between your incisors and premolars. If you are having trouble finding them, think of the pointy teeth that vampires have — these are the canines.
Upper canines are one of the most common teeth to be impacted. Only wisdom teeth are more commonly impacted, which is one of the reasons they are often removed. Diagnosing impacted canines can be tricky since they are among the last of the permanent teeth to come in, usually by 13 years old. Canines can be impacted for different reasons. Sometimes the mouth is already too crowded so there is no space for them. Other times the mouth has too many teeth.
Why Earlier is Better
We have all heard it before, but it is true. Early detection is the key to a successful outcome in treating impacted canines. The American Association of Orthodontics suggests the first x-rays taken to diagnose potential orthodontic problems occur at age seven. At that time, specialists can diagnose any potential problems before the teeth begin to erupt.
With incredibly long roots, canines tend to take much longer to erupt than any other teeth in a patient's mouth. With impacted canines, they appear to cross the roots of teeth. They will try to find a way to erupt because that is what they are designed to do. The path of least resistance in some instances will be the roof of the mouth which can result in the need for invasive surgery. This can be catastrophic for the sinuses as well as the oral cavity and result in invasive and overly expensive procedures.
How We Treat Impacted Canines
How we treat impacted canines depends on how early we can catch them. If we are able to spot them early enough, then braces are often enough to treat them. Using braces or another orthodontic appliance, we can create space in your child's mouth so that the canines can come in right on schedule as they should.
If we cannot diagnose the impacted canines early enough, or if they fail to erupt despite plenty of space, then surgery will be necessary. Even with surgery, braces will still need to be worn to create the required space. Once there is enough space, the surgery is pretty straightforward. An oral surgeon will reveal the impacted canine, affix a bracket similar to the kind worn with braces, and then pull the gum back over the tooth. A wire will attach onto the bracket, and once the gums are healed elastic bands will in turn be attached to the wire to gradually and gently pull on the impacted canine until it has fully erupted.
Fill Out Your Smile Today!
Canine teeth are important, as they are involved in chewing food, maintaining proper bite, providing a barrier so teeth do not have damaging contact with one another. They also help to keep the shape of a symmetrical smile.
Impacted canines can be frustrating, especially if all of your other teeth have already erupted. For those patients who have been diagnosed with impacted canines or they have a family history of impacted canines they should come to see us at Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery to discuss what is necessary to correct the problem. We can also do phone consultations to answer any and all questions about the condition. Our number is (980) 332-7990. Call us today to get the answers to your questions and to schedule your first appointment with us. We are always available for our patients.