When a tooth is “impacted,” it means the tooth cannot erupt because it is stuck under the gumline. This impaction problem is most common with the third molars (wisdom teeth), but it can also happen to other teeth as well. The maxillary cuspid teeth (upper eyetooth) is the second most common tooth to be impacted.

This tooth plays an important role in your bite and the dental arch. When a cuspid tooth is impacted, treatments can be done to aid eruption.

Early Recognition is Key for a Successful Outcome

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that growing patients should be evaluated to determine potential problems with erupting adult teeth. A panorex screening x-ray can be used to determine if all adult teeth are present and whether any unusual areas could block the eruption of a permanent tooth.

Other factors that might affect the eruption of a permanent tooth include limited space in the jaw and overcrowding. Typically, a general dentist completes this screening, and then a referral is given to visit an orthodontist to open the space for proper tooth eruption.

A general dentist might also refer Naperville patients to see an oral surgeon if a tooth extraction is needed. Extra teeth can be removed, as well as growths that are blocking the eruption of adult teeth. When the eruption path is cleared at an early age, it increases the likelihood that the impacted tooth will erupt naturally. The older the patient is, the higher the likelihood that the tooth is fused in position. Even if the dental arch space is available for the tooth to grow in, impacted teeth don’t always erupt without treatment. At this point, recommended treatments are usually focused on the extraction of the impacted tooth and replacement using a dental implant or fixed bridge.

Treatment Options for Impacted Canines

Orthodontists and oral surgeons In the Naperville area can work together to get the unerupted teeth to emerge if they aren’t erupting spontaneously. Each case is unique, but a common treatment is the use of braces to create the necessary space for the proper position of the dental arch. Then, an oral surgeon can expose the impacted eyetooth, and sometimes bracket the tooth if needed.

Sometimes bone and/or a baby tooth needs to be removed during impacted eye tooth surgery. Other various methods can be used to expose the tooth and provide access for the orthodontist to use a chain, bracket, anchors, and/or elastic to put a light pulling force that encourages the tooth to move down. It is a slow process that can take anywhere from several months to a full year to complete.

Impacted canine surgery is straightforward and usually done with IV anesthesia to ensure the comfort of the patient. Specific post-operative instructions will be provided to ensure proper recovery after surgery.

If your dentist or orthodontist recommends that you visit an oral surgeon for an impacted canine tooth, then our team is here to assist. Contact our office in Naperville today to schedule a consultation at (630) 961-5151.