Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery In London
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Treating Impacted Canine Teeth

Having impacted wisdom teeth is often mentioned, although your canine teeth can also be impacted. This means they are in the wrong position and quite commonly, buried in your jaw below the tooth line.

You should have four permanent canine (eye) teeth, which normally come through at age 11-13. They can be in the wrong place due to jaw abnormalities, a missing, or small front tooth (incisor) or a baby tooth staying in position too long.

Assessing patients individually is important, there are times where leaving a tooth in the jaw, or removal are good decisions. In the majority of cases, a combination of surgery and orthodontic treatment will address the problem.

Initial Treatment

A consultant maxillofacial surgeon will examine you, discuss your needs, any risks and the best solutions. Where surgery is the answer, this is almost always day surgery and can be promptly arranged.

Most people have a general anaesthetic, which means you are asleep during surgery and will not remember anything. Whilst you are asleep, a local anaesthetic is used to numb the area, to prevent discomfort when you wake up.

Your surgeon will expose the tooth, by lifting the gum up and in most cases, will remove part of the bone around the tooth.

Attaching a gold bracket and chain to the buried tooth can be helpful. This is used at a later stage of treatment by your orthodontist, to help move the tooth as part of your orthodontic treatment.

Another option is to apply a gauze, or pink paste healing dressing, or dressing plate, over a “window” in the gum above the impacted canine.

The covering may be stitched in place, helps the area to heal and preserves opportunity for your orthodontist to realign the tooth, rather than the issue you had starting to repeat itself.

Ongoing Solutions

Your treatment will be taken forward by an orthodontist and in the case of our Harley Street clinic, remains in house. Both a consultant maxillofacial surgeon and skilled orthodontist are resident.

Any issues from the surgery are likely to have passed. As with any dental surgery, this can cause short term bleeding, or discomfort but they can be readily managed.

If soluble stitches were used, they will have dissolved. Where a gold bracket and chain have been attached to the incisor, this can involve a stitch to keep the chain out of the way, which is removed by your orthodontist.

The chain is there to be attached to braces, possibly in different ways at varying stages. You need to allow several months for the incisor to be realigned but what can be achieved is remarkable.

There will always be unusual cases and these can be solved, possibly by transplanting the tooth to the right position. For most patients, an orthodontic solution will see their smile become quite normal.

If we can help with advice, or treatment on an impacted canine tooth, please get in touch with our team at any time.

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