Impacted Canine Teeth
When a tooth is unable to emerge from the gum, it is called “impacted”. This usually happens when there is not enough room in the mouth for a tooth to break through the gums. Impacted teeth can occur in wisdom teeth, in which case they are simply extracted because they are not needed.
But what about when our canine teeth become impacted? We do need our canine teeth! Canine teeth are important for speaking, eating, maintaining lip shape, and guiding other teeth into position. When canine teeth become impacted, they should not be pulled. Everything should be done to get it to erupt into its proper position in the dental arch.
For patients with impacted canine teeth, the older they get the less likely that the impacted tooth will erupt on its own. Impacted canine teeth are typically recognized during routine x-ray along and dental examinations on patients between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. The x-rays and exams will also answer some other important questions: are there extra teeth or any unusual growth which is blocking the eruption of the canine tooth or teeth? Is there extreme crowding or too little space for the tooth to emerge? Depending on what your dentist finds during the examination, orthodontic or surgical treatment might be needed to let your canine teeth erupt.