When a tooth is unable to fully grow into the mouth or only partially grows into the mouth, this tooth is said to be impacted. The most common occurrence of impaction occurs with the wisdom teeth and the canines. The canines are the pointy teeth that enable you to bite and properly break down your food.
If a tooth becomes impacted, it may be due to one of the following reasons:
- The tooth is unable to follow the normal growth track
- Insufficient space that causes overcrowding
- The presence of additional teeth or the lack of adult teeth
- Pathological growths that block the tooth’s proper eruption
To determine if you have an impacted tooth, you will need a thorough oral exam by one of our oral surgeons. Additional X-rays will be performed to confirm an impacted tooth’s presence. When you seek treatment and get the impacted tooth diagnosed, you will be avoiding complications, like oral infection or tooth misalignment, which often results in very costly dental or orthodontic treatments.
Exposure and Bonding
The most common treatment for impacted teeth is exposure and bonding. We work cohesively with your orthodontist to align your teeth in their proper positions and allow the impacted tooth to come in.
First, your orthodontist prepares your mouth by applying braces, which will move the fully grown teeth into their correct position, leaving room for the impacted tooth to grow into its natural position. Next, you will see the oral surgeon, who will expose the impacted tooth in a surgical procedure and attach an orthodontic bracket. The bracket is a very small chain placed directly on the tooth. The chain will be gently pulled on by your orthodontist to move the impacted tooth over some time, placing the tooth into its proper position within the mouth.
If you are in need of an exposure and bonding treatment for an impacted canine tooth, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Baker or Dr. Barber.