Your teeth are an important feature of your mouth. Your canines, particularly your maxillary canines (also called the upper eyeteeth or maxillary cuspids), have several crucial jobs. They aid in biting and tearing food. They are also essential for guiding your mouth into proper alignment. While they are important, your maxillary canines are the second most likely to become impacted (following the wisdom teeth). Impacted wisdom teeth can be solved with extraction, and removing these teeth has no effect on the alignment or function of your mouth. This is not the case with your canines. At Amborn Orthodontics, we can help to bring impacted canines into proper alignment, enabling them to perform their necessary functions.
How important are your canines?Your canines, in particular your maxillary canines, play several crucial roles in your mouth:
|Your maxillary canines are integral in the alignment of the rest of your teeth. When your teeth are crooked, you can be faced with a myriad of issues including bruxism (grinding), temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), uneven tooth wear, and an increased risk for cavities and gum disease.
|Your canines are the first teeth that touch down when you close your mouth. As such, they are essential for guiding your jaw into proper alignment.
|They are an important part of a beautiful smile. Your adult maxillary canines are the last of your teeth to erupt, often arriving at the age of 13. When they come in, they fill in the remaining gaps, completing the appearance of your smile.
What causes impacted canines?Maxillary canines can become impacted for some different reasons:
|Your mouth is overcrowded. Overcrowding is a common problem that results from misalignment. If your front teeth are overcrowded, there may not be sufficient room for your maxillary canines to erupt.
|You have extra teeth. Some people develop extra teeth, which can block the eruption of your canines.
|Growths on the gum tissue. This is a rare occurrence, but any growths that develop on your gum tissue can impede canine eruption.
Diagnosing and Treating Impacted CaninesThe American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children be seen for an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This evaluation is important for detecting potential orthodontic issues that your child may face. Impacted canines are one of the issues that can be determined at this age, and actions can be taken to prevent the issue from occurring. We can place a specialized brace that can move your child’s teeth, which then creates the space necessary for the canines to erupt on their own. Children don’t often require surgery to correct impacted canines, but there are some instances in which an oral surgeon may be needed to extract baby teeth or remove growths.
For older patients, the longer you wait to deal with impacted canines, the less likely they are to come in on their own. If this is the case, an oral surgeon will be needed to expose the impacted canines. Once you have healed from surgery, we can then place braces. A special bracket is bonded to the canines, and that bracket is connected to your braces with a metal chain. A rubber band is placed on the chain, which creates the gentle pressure needed to guide the tooth into proper alignment.
Corrected impacted canines do more than just improve your appearance; it also enables your mouth to perform its many important functions. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Amborn Orthodontics at (503) 967-9887 today.