In some cases, a tooth does not break through the gum and remains stuck in the bone and gum tissues. This is known as an impacted tooth. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the teeth that most commonly become impacted. These teeth often become impacted because there is not enough room in the dental arch for them to fully and properly erupt. Impacted wisdom teeth are typically removed in order to avoid complications with the health of the teeth, gums, and jawbone.
The second most commonly impacted teeth are the upper canines (also known as the eye teeth). If the canine teeth do not erupt as normal, our orthodontist will check the position of the adjacent teeth to make certain that the canines have sufficient space to grow in. We may also take X-rays to determine whether the canines are impacted, to check the impacted tooth’s position, and to assess any effects on the neighboring teeth and structures. In most cases, our team will create a treatment plan to expose the impacted canines. To expose an impacted upper canine, our orthodontist will typically remove the gums that cover the tooth. For some patients, this is enough to allow the tooth to grow in as normal. For others, we will bond an orthodontic attachment to the impacted tooth. This attachment is connected to a small chain that is used to apply gentle force to bring the tooth into position.
For more information about how we can help you with impacted teeth, please call or visit our office today.