The canine tooth of the upper jaw (also called a cuspid or eye tooth) is the second-most common tooth to become impacted. An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to erupt completely into the mouth.
The canine tooth is a critical tooth for biting into food. Its pointed shape helps you to tear into food such as meat or tough bread.
Normally, the upper canine teeth are the last of the "front teeth" to erupt into place. They usually come into place around age 13 and may cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tighter together. In cases where the canine is impacted and will not erupt spontaneously, the orthodontist and oral surgeon work together to get these unerupted teeth into the correct position.
In most cases the orthodontist places braces on the teeth (at least the upper teeth) and a space is opened to provide room for the impacted tooth to be moved into its proper position. Once the space is ready, the orthodontist will refer the patient to the oral surgeon for a simple procedure to have the impacted tooth exposed and an orthodontic bracket placed.
The orthodontist can begin work on moving the tooth into position one to two weeks after the oral surgery. This is a carefully controlled, slow process that may take up to a year to complete.
For more information, or if you'd like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (608) 274-0770