Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery In London
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Specialist Areas

Treating Impacted Canine Teeth

Personal Assessment

Impacted wisdom teeth are common, although as in the video, other teeth including canines can be impacted. This means they are in the wrong position, buried in your jaw below the tooth line.

You should have four permanent canine 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, or a first tooth staying in place.

Alongside modern imaging, assessing patients individually is important. A consultant maxillofacial surgeon will examine you, discuss your needs, any risks and the best solution for your case.

There are times where leaving a tooth in the jaw, or removal are good decisions for the future. In the majority of cases, a combination of surgery and orthodontic treatment will solve the problem.

Initial Treatment

Where surgical intervention is the answer, this is almost always day surgery at our in house facility 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 awake.

Your surgeon will expose the impacted tooth, by lifting up the gum and in a proportion of cases, 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 by your orthodontist, to help move the tooth as part of orthodontic treatment.

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

The cover dressing may be stitched in place, which helps with healing and preserves access for your orthodontist. They can realign the tooth, rather than the issue you had being able 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 surgery should have passed, the soluble stitches be dissolved. If a gold bracket and chain were attached to the tooth and a stitch used to keep the chain out of the way, this is removed by your orthodontist.

The chain is there to attach to braces, perhaps in different ways at varying stages. You need to allow several months for canine teeth to be realigned but what can be achieved is remarkable.

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

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