Reveal Your Best Smile at Jacklyn Kurth Orthodontics
An attractive smile requires healthy, straight teeth. For most patients, achieving that perfect smile is no sweat — a little orthodontic treatment combined with good oral hygiene does the trick. But for those with impacted canine teeth, the road to straight teeth can be more complicated. Thankfully, Dr. Jacklyn Kurth and Dr. Laura Chew of Jacklyn Kurth Orthodontics in Foster City and Belmont, CA, have the skill, experience, and state-of-the-art tools to tackle even the most stubborn impacted canine tooth cases. Call (650) 592-4850 for Belmont and (650) 525-9440 for Foster City today to schedule your free impacted tooth consultation.
What Are Impacted Canines?
Most people have four canine teeth, two on top and two on the bottom. Canine teeth — also called cuspids, eye teeth, and fangs — play an important role in biting and tearing food, as well as guiding the rest of the teeth into proper alignment. They’re also crucial to an attractive smile, as they frame the front teeth.
In about two percent of the population, the canine teeth fail to emerge properly in the mouth, becoming blocked from erupting by other teeth, bone, or gum tissue. These are what dentists call impacted canine
Why Expose Impacted Canine Teeth?
An impacted canine tooth that doesn’t erupt can cause a host of costly dental problems in the future, including:
- Crowding or misalignment of nearby teeth
- Increased risk of decay and periodontal disease
- Cysts or damage to the roots of nearby teeth
- Loss or thinning of bone tissue
Impacted canines also create an unappealing smile, with dark gaps or uneven spaces between the front teeth. Thankfully, impacted canine teeth can be freed through exposure or extraction surgery so they can eventually erupt into the ideal position.
The Impacted Canine Tooth Surgery Process
Exposing impacted canine teeth starts with a complete exam, including dental X-rays and 3D digital scans. These advanced imaging techniques allow Dr. Kurth to determine the canine’s exact position and best treatment path. She’ll discuss all your options and then develop a customized treatment plan.
Exposure or Extraction
If needed, Dr. Kurth will perform surgery to either expose the impacted canine tooth for orthodontic alignment or extract it fully. She’ll numb the area before making a tiny incision to reach the impacted canine tooth safely. Dr. Kurth may bond an attachment to the impacted tooth during exposure surgery to act as an anchor for braces. Dissolvable stitches close the incision site afterward.
Following surgery, you’ll rest at home as the incision heals over the next four to six weeks. Dr. Kurth will provide guidelines on controlling swelling, keeping the area clean, eating soft foods, and more during recovery. She closely monitors healing at follow-up appointments. Once healed, orthodontic treatment typically begins.
Guiding into Position
Dr. Kurth uses today’s most innovative orthodontics to align exposed canines. Usually, metal braces or clear aligners gently encourage the tooth down into the ideal position. This stage often spans 12 to 24 months, depending on complexity. You’ll follow a customized treatment timeline with progress checks.
After months of coordinated surgical, restorative, and orthodontic treatment, your impacted canine finally takes its rightful place — giving you an even, healthy, dazzling smile you’ll be thrilled to show off! Dr. Kurth’s experience and cutting-edge care make this outcome possible even in complex cases.
Impacted Canine Surgery Aftercare
Caring for the impacted canine surgical site is essential for proper healing. Follow the guidelines from our Belmont and Foster City orthodontists, but here are some general tips to help you heal:
- Rest: Take it very easy for a few days post-surgery to let your body start healing.
- Medications: Carefully follow any prescribed antibiotic or pain relief medication.
- Cold Compress: Gently apply an ice pack to minimize swelling and discomfort.
- Soft Foods: Stick to a diet of cool, smooth foods requiring little chewing.
- Oral Hygiene: Gently rinse and brush, avoiding the sensitive surgical area.
- Follow-Up Visits: See Dr. Kurth as scheduled so she can monitor your healing.
- Call Our Bay Area Orthodontic Offices: Notify our team about any unusual pain, bleeding, or other issues.
- Recovery Time: With proper aftercare, you’ll be feeling normal again soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few possible causes of impacted canine teeth. In some cases, an abnormal eruption path or unusually dense bones or gums block the canine’s emergence. An overcrowded mouth can also cause a lack of sufficient space for the canine to erupt. Genetics may also play a role, as impacted canine teeth sometimes run in families.
Canines normally begin to erupt around age 11. If a canine tooth hasn’t erupted by ages 13 to 15, it may require exposure or removal. Some teens and pre-teens are monitored for late canine tooth eruption from as young as ages eight or nine.
Leaving impacted canine teeth untouched leads to greater risks in the long run. It can damage adjacent teeth, thin the jaw bone, and foster dental disease. Impacted canines generally don’t erupt on their own over time. Addressing them earlier prevents much costlier problems down the road.
It’s normal to have some discomfort in the days following surgery. This usually feels like soreness at the surgery site and typically responds well to over-the-counter pain meds. Severe throbbing pain is unusual — let your surgeon know if you experience this. Follow aftercare instructions carefully to control swelling and support healing.
Expose Your Confident Smile Today!
With advanced skills and cutting-edge tools, Dr. Jacklyn Kurth and Dr. Laura Chew help patients by transforming smiles with impacted teeth. We offer impacted canine tooth exposure and extraction surgery, braces, Invisalign, and more to treat impacted canines for dazzling, confident grins. Her offices in Foster City and Belmont, CA, deliver individualized care backed by years of orthodontic expertise.
Don’t live with the discomfort, health risks, and appearance issues of an impacted canine tooth. Schedule your free consultation at Jacklyn Kurth Orthodontics today by calling (650) 525-9440 for Foster City and (650) 592-4850 for Belmont to discuss your treatment options. Dr. Kurth and her team will walk with you each step of the way until your new smile is revealed!