An impacted tooth is a tooth that is blocked or “stuck” underneath the gumline, in the bone and is unable to erupt into its correct position. Most often, an impacted tooth will be a third molar, or wisdom tooth, though it is a common occurrence in canine teeth as well. The canine tooth is a critical tooth in the dental arch and plays an important role in your child’s bite. Canine teeth are designed to be the first teeth that touch when the jaws close together, serving to guide the rest of the teeth into a proper bite position.
Canines in the lower jaw (mandible) usually erupt around age ten. Canines in the upper jaw (maxilla) usually erupt around twelve years old. Dr. Cartier, and the American Association of Orthodontists, recommends that a child have an orthodontic examination by the age of seven, which allows us the opportunity to monitor your child’s teeth eruption and detect impactions early.
If your child does develop an impacted canine, a surgical procedure is recommended to assist the eruption of the tooth. After the tooth is surgically exposed and an orthodontic bracket is attached to the tooth Dr. Cartier will then move the tooth into its proper position.
With early detection, timely interception, and well-managed surgical and orthodontic treatment, impacted canines can be allowed to erupt and/or be guided to the most ideal position in your child’s mouth.