← Back

Tooth Exposure

Sometimes, a tooth will get stuck as it’s trying to come in. A tooth is said to be impacted if it is completely or partially trapped beneath the gums. Wisdom teeth and canine teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted, but impaction can happen to any tooth.

Impacted Canine Exposure

The canine teeth grow in around the age of 11 or 12. They are the last permanent teeth to come in, and after wisdom teeth, they are the most likely teeth to become impacted. Impacted teeth are teeth that become stuck beneath the gums so that they are not able to grow into the mouth properly. When wisdom teeth become impacted, extraction is often recommended, but canine teeth are essential for the bite, so when they become impacted, they must be treated in a different way — usually both orthodontically (by an orthodontist) and surgically (by an oral surgeon), with the goal that they emerge successfully into the dental arch. Early detection and treatment are crucial for impacted canines because the longer they stay trapped under the gums, the more their roots develop and fuse with the jaw bone (this goes for wisdom teeth, too). The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children be seen by a dental professional by age 7 for an examination and imaging to track the eruption of the adult teeth and to be sure that the canines are developing as they should.

What causes canine impaction?

While most canine teeth will grow into the dental arch without issue, these crucial teeth can sometimes become impacted due to

During regular exams, your family dentist may discover an impacted canine tooth. In these cases, you will be referred for treatment right away. Early treatment is important because if canines remain impacted into adulthood, treatment is less likely to be successful. When an impacted canine cannot be treated, dental implants or other tooth replacement options can be used to replace the canines — these solutions offer very realistic and functional results.

The standard treatment for canine impaction is a two-phase procedure called exposure and bonding, during which your oral surgeon will work closely with your orthodontist to move the canine tooth into its proper position.

Exposure and Bonding for Impacted Canines

Exposure and bonding is a very common and effective procedure that we offer at North Jersey Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. It’s a two-phase treatment that is a collaboration between your oral surgeon and your orthodontist. For the first step, your orthodontist places braces on your teeth to make a space in the dental arch for the impacted tooth. When this space is ready, your orthodontist will send you to an oral surgeon who will surgically expose the tooth by making an incision in the gum and/or bone that is blocking the tooth. After this step, a small orthodontic appliance will be placed on the tooth (a bracket), and a chain will be attached to the tooth using this bracket. During the final phase, the orthodontist will use the bracket and chain to guide the impacted canine tooth gently into its proper location over time.


Impacted Tooth Exposure in Teaneck, NJ

Drs. Friedman and Schulhof perform the highest quality oral surgery services to patients of all ages, including young children and teens, in the comfort and safety of their Teaneck, NJ, practice. Our surgeons are expertly trained to treat impacted canine teeth with exposure and bonding procedures successfully. If your child requires treatment for impacted canines, a personalized treatment plan will be created that will offer your child the most comfortable experience possible. Your child will be in excellent hands with us — we are experts at creating a calm and friendly oral surgery environment for our young patients. Please call us to schedule a consultation with your child’s oral surgeon or to ask any questions you may have. We are happy to provide all the guidance you need to feel confident about your child’s treatment at our practice. Thank you for the opportunity to care for you and your family.