ORTHODONTIC EXPOSURE / IMPACTED TEETH
An impacted tooth simply means that it cannot erupt into function. Patients frequently develop problems with impacted third molar (wisdom) teeth. These teeth get “stuck” in the back of the jaw and can develop painful infections, among a host of other problems. Since there is rarely a functional need for wisdom teeth, they are usually extracted if they develop issues. The maxillary canine is the second most common tooth to become impacted. The canine tooth is a critical tooth and plays an important role in your “bite”. They are designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaws close together so they guide the rest of the teeth into the proper bite.
Normally, the maxillary canine teeth are the last of the “front” teeth to erupt into place. They usually come into place around age 13 and cause any space left between the upper front teeth to close tighter together. If a canine tooth gets impacted, every effort is made to get it to erupt into its proper position. The techniques involved to aid eruption can be applied to any impacted tooth in the upper or lower jaw, but most commonly they are applied to the maxillary canine teeth.