When Teeth Play ‘Hide and Seek’

Teeth that fail to grow in the right place and are held below the normal gumline are referred
to as an impaction. Most commonly this occurs with canine teeth (our fang- like teeth)
and the third molar (our wisdom teeth). They can remain totally buried or just partially
seen. And though it does not always pose a problem, they should always be assessed by a
dentist or orthodontist, because often, in the case of canine impactions, treating them
to ensure full functionality and the best smile is not child’s play. Left untreated impacted
teeth can lead to decay, infection, gum disease, dental cysts and damage to other teeth. At
Wells Orthodontics we have practitioners qualified and experienced in both dentistry and
orthodontics to ensure that all and any necessary impaction treatment can be managed in-house.

Why are canines so important?

Normally, permanent canine teeth appear between the ages of 11 and 13 years. Canine teeth are more important than some other teeth for the correct function of the teeth and for appearance. This is why dentists and orthodontists like to correct their position if possible. Sometimes, because of the way teeth grow in the jaws and gums, one or both canine teeth develop in the wrong position for normal appearance or function. For example, they might erupt in the wrong position or not at all or it might be the result of early loss (or removal) of ‘baby’ (deciduous) teeth. Dentists and orthodontists usually detect a problem with the canine teeth in children around the ages of 10-14 years, which is a time when they will recommend treatment.

What happens if I have an impacted canine?

If you are not already in orthodontic treatment, it will be your dentist who will notice that the tooth is not growing normally, and will take some X-rays to check its existence and position. Often you will be referred to an orthodontist for an opinion on treatment. There are several options for the surgical treatment of impacted canines which might include:

  • Filling the gap where the canine tooth should be, by means of a bridge or implant.
  • Exposing part of the tooth allowing alignment correction. Sometimes, other teeth will need to be extracted to make space for the canine.
  • Extraction (permanent removal of the tooth), is often the treatment of choice if the buried tooth is in a poor position for orthodontic re-alignment, or shows signs of causing problems to adjacent teeth.

Tooth Extraction

In certain cases extractions are required. They are used to align crowded teeth, correct the bite, or as above treat impaction. At Well orthodontics extractions may even form an integral part of your overall orthodontic treatment plan.  In making a decision about which teeth to extract, the orthodontist will give preference as far as possible to removing teeth which are unlikely to last indefinitely, perhaps because of previous decay or damage.

Wells Orthodontics facilitate it all

At Wells Orthodontics our team of practitioners cover all aspects of dentistry and orthodontics to ensure that everything can be treated from the very first consultation, through the main procedure to reparative work and aftercare treatment, plus on-going support and maintenance, albeit in the form of a scale and polish, teeth whitening or retainer provision, for example. Our practitioners are ably assisted by professional nursing staff and our own in-house laboratory technician. Whatever it takes to get you smiling again in comfort and with confidence, you will find it all at Wells orthodontics.

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Contact us for more information

TEL: 01749 675 825