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Impacted Canines

An impacted tooth is blocked or “stuck” underneath the gum line, and will not erupt into its correct position on its own. Most often, an impacted tooth will be a third molar, or wisdom tooth, though it is a common occurrence in canine teeth as well.

Canine teeth are located at the corners of the arch, next to the incisors. They have one pointed edge (cusp) that is used for holding, grasping, and tearing food. Because of the canines’ long root, they are very strong, stable teeth. Canines are usually the last teeth to erupt, and typically do so when your child is around the age of 12 or 13.

If your son or daughter develops an impacted canine, a simple surgical procedure is recommended to assist its eruption. We will surgically expose the tooth by cutting a small flap in the surrounding gum. After the tooth is exposed, we will either leave the tooth to emerge on its own, or attach an orthodontic bracket to it to help guide its descent.

With early detection and combined surgical and orthodontic treatment, impacted canines can be allowed to appear and/or be guided to the most ideal position in your child’s mouth.