Impacted Canines

Besides the pain and discomfort, impacted canines can cause severe complications to your bone structures and general dental health. Treatment and complication management of impacted canines require expert orthodontic care available here at New England Orthodontic Specialists.

What are Impacted Canines?

Known as eye teeth because of its position under the eyes, canines are also known as the corner teeth or the fangs. Normally, there are four canines, two each in the upper and lower jaw.

An impacted tooth is a tooth that failed to erupt. Canines are considered impacted if they failed to grow into there properly. In some cases, the canines did not grow at all; they erupted at an angle or grew in a completely abnormal position such as behind a tooth.

The cause of impacted canine is not entirely understood. Genetics is a possible explanation. Impacted canines might also occur as a result of other orthodontic concerns such as size, number or alignment of other teeth. In some cases, there is just no identifiable cause.

Can It Be Left Untreated?

For some, it is an option to leave the impacted canine untreated. It can remain buried, and it will cause no discomfort nor will it affect other teeth. An examination in our office would be necessary to determine whether treatment would be necessary.

However, there are risks if the impacted canines are left unchecked. The buried tooth can damage the roots of other teeth or growth of a cyst might be possible. It can also affect dental appearance, your smile might look somewhat off, because of the missing canine.

Treatment Options

A thorough assessment by our orthodontists and X-rays are necessary to determine the best treatment to approach the problem. Several treatment options are available for impacted canines.

If possible, saving an impacted upper canine is a priority. Canines are important for biting and chewing and overall appearance. A treatment option is to expose the impacted teeth and then move it to its proper position with the use of an orthodontic appliance. The process of moving the impacted teeth will take time. Another treatment that allows for the rescue of the canines, but with the more immediate result, is transplantation. Transplantation involves the removal of the canine from its abnormal position, then replacing it to the correct position. However, it’s important to note that not all cases qualify for this treatment and if the tooth fails to function as a normal tooth, removal of the transplanted tooth might be necessary.

If the impacted tooth is in a poor position, it might be possible to remove the tooth completely. After the removal, other dental procedures would be necessary, such as bridging, dentures or implants would be necessary if the procedure leaves a gap.

The assessment and treatment for impacted canines would vary from patient to patient. There are risks for either leaving the condition untreated or opting for treatment through minor surgery. For the necessary expert advice with our board-certified orthodontists, visit us at New England Orthodontic Specialists or call (978) 922-3462 today!


497 Cabot St
Beverly, MA 01915-2537


15 Main St.
Topsfield, MA 01983

Call Us:

(978) 922-3462

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Wed - 8:00 - 5:00
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