Impaction occurs when a tooth is blocked from erupting through the gums and into its proper position in the mouth. The presence of bone and/or underlying gum tissue commonly causes impaction. Wisdom teeth and canines are particularly prone to this oral health issue, but impaction can happen to any tooth.
Regardless of impaction, most wisdom teeth are recommended for removal. But canine teeth — the four pointed teeth at the corners of the mouth — are important for the bite and function of the mouth. Since canine teeth play such an important role in oral health and function, every effort is made to expose an impacted canine and guide it into its proper position. Treating an impacted tooth is common and requires a coordinated effort between an oral surgeon and an orthodontist.
An X-ray or CT scan can confirm a suspected impacted tooth. Canine teeth are commonly impacted for many reasons:
- Baby teeth or unusual growths block the tooth’s growth path
- Misalignment of other teeth
- Extra teeth in the mouth (this is rare)
It is important to expose an impacted canine as early as possible to preserve oral health and function. Your general dentist will monitor your child’s teeth as they grow and develop and will refer to an oral surgeon at the appropriate time.
Exposing an impacted tooth requires a team effort between an orthodontist and an oral surgeon. The first part of the treatment begins by making enough room in the mouth for the impacted tooth to come in. Your orthodontist will use braces to gently shift the other teeth into their new positions. Once space has been created, your oral surgeon will expose the impacted tooth during a minor surgical procedure. Then, an orthodontic bracket is bonded to the tooth, and a small chain is placed to help the orthodontist guide the tooth into place as it grows in.
Napa Sonoma Oral Surgery & Dental Implants wants every patient to feel safe and comfortable throughout their treatment. Local anesthesia and IV sedation are common anesthesia options that are used for surgical procedure of exposing an impacted tooth, but all of your options and selection of pain management will be discussed during your first visit at our practice.
Impacted Tooth Exposure
We invite you to come to Napa Sonoma Oral Surgery & Dental Implants to discuss your options for impacted tooth exposure and receive the highest quality of care. If your child’s tooth is impacted, Dr. Boynton or Dr. McMahon will create a treatment plan and ensure you feel safe, comfortable, and informed every step of the way. We are located in Sonoma and Napa, CA, and serve the surrounding areas. We look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.