While impacted wisdom teeth have little, if any, effect on your smile’s appearance when they’re removed, patients with impacted cuspids (also known as the canine teeth or eyeteeth) will have smiles that suffer if those teeth are just extracted. Fortunately, impacted cuspids can be uncovered and moved to emerge when an oral surgeon and an orthodontist collaborate on the treatment.
The maxillary (upper) cuspids actually are the second most likely teeth to become impacted after the wisdom teeth, so a number of patients may face this problem.
In order to address the issue of impacted cuspids, the oral surgeon will expose the tooth by removing gum and bone tissue that are covering it. The surgeon may need to put a dressing on top of the tooth in some cases. If that is necessary, the dressing will be removed after 10-14 days. Alternatively, the surgeon may attach a bracket to the tooth after the procedure. That bracket can then be used in conjunction with the rest of the patient’s braces to move the uncovered cuspid.
Your treatment team will work together on the timing of the surgery and the placement of the orthodontic appliances.
The oral surgeon typically can perform this procedure in an outpatient setting, unless there are some extenuating circumstances. Your treatment team will discuss this aspect of surgery with you in advance of the treatment date. Additionally, you will receive pre- and post-operative instructions that will help you to reduce your risk of complications from the intervention.
The entire process of uncovering the cuspids can take several months, so patients should be prepared to invest time in the treatment, keeping in mind that the end result should be worthwhile.
Impacted cuspids can negatively affect your smile’s alignment and ability to chew, but effective treatments are available to expose the tooth and guide it into the correct position. If your orthodontist has recommended that you see a surgeon to expose your cuspids, schedule a consultation at our office to learn about your options.