A pair of well-structured canines provide a solid foundation for balanced, functional occlusion, along with an alluring smile. In contrast, impacted canines occur when a tooth cannot emerge through the gums. Hence, it erupts in an abnormal position, disabling its functioning. After the third molar, it is the most frequent dental problem encountered during orthodontic treatment. In most cases, the upper canine impaction is displaced to the palate side of the dental arch. While most of the canine impactions are asymptomatic, in certain cases, the impacted tooth shows pathological complications in the form of root resorption of adjacent teeth. This can lead to loss of arch length, cyst formation, or localized pain.
Signs and symptoms
Impacted canines are usually difficult to notice, therefore you should get routine dental checkups done. However, if you are diagnosed with impacted canines, your dentist may recommend dental surgery and dental implants to you. You should immediately make an appointment with your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Foul taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Difficulty in opening your mouth
- Pain while chewing or biting
Causes of impacted canines
There can be various possible reasons for canine impaction. In some cases, it can occur because of an overcrowded mouth as it restricts the space for teeth to grow. However, other reasons can also be to blame, including:
- Inherited traits
- Tooth alignment issues
- Early removal or missing baby tooth
- Teeth size and shape issues
Treatment for impacted canines
Following are the treatment alternatives available for impacted canines. Consider consulting your dental surgeon to choose the best choice:
No treatment alternative is typically chosen for children. Still, it is also an option for adults where the canine space is entirely obstructed or does not warrant orthodontic treatment. Here, the impacted canines are kept under observation.
Removal through a surgical procedure
Another canine impaction treatment alternative is removing your impacted canine via surgical procedures and placing the baby canine in the right place. However, your dental surgeon might just let the gap be if the baby canine is missing and replace it with a bridge or implant, or close the gap entirely with required orthodontic treatment.
The autotransplant involves placing the impacted canines from the palate into the correct position. However, if your impacted canine is significantly displaced and not optimum for repositioning, your dental surgeon may consider removing it while developing a socket in its rightful position to transplant it. Here, the orthodontic treatment depends upon the positioning of the teeth.
Bonding through orthodontic appliances
Another treatment involves bonding the exposed canines into the appropriate position via orthodontic appliances. Due to convenience and predictability, this type of treatment is preferable for upper canine impaction in children. Here, the impacted canine is surgically exposed and bonded with a gold chain to secure it in the right position.
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