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South Hills of Pittsburgh Orthodontist Discusses Impacted Teeth

May 11, 2017

South Hills of Pittsburgh orthodontist addresses your concerns about impacted teeth. If someone mentions impacted teeth you are probably going to think that they are talking about wisdom teeth. However, other teeth can also be impacted, meaning they have not erupted into the proper position in the mouth. After wisdom teeth, maxillary canines or the upper eyeteeth are most often impacted. South Hills of Pittsburgh orthodontist Dr. Gary Cartwright likes to see young patients by the time they are eight years old in order to monitor the growth and development of their teeth. Then, with follow-up appointments every six months, early intervention and a proper course of treatment can be planned for impacted teeth.

Why Might Canines Become Impacted?

There a few reasons why teeth become impacted. More often than not there simply is not enough room in the jaw to fit these teeth, or they cannot follow the normal track next to adjacent teeth in order to erupt into their proper place. There may also be a genetic component connected to having impacted teeth, and the condition may be associated with other dental abnormalities.

How Are Impacted Teeth Diagnosed?

First, Dr. Cartwright conducts a visual examination of your son or daughter’s teeth. By a certain age, their adult teeth should have erupted. If not, then there may be a problem. The orthodontist in South Hills Pittsburgh will evaluate the position and angle of adjacent teeth and palpate the gum tissue in order find the missing tooth’s position.

In addition, x-rays are typically ordered to verify Dr. Cartwright’s findings and to determine the tooth’s exact position in relation to the jaw and other teeth. Sometimes, a CT scan that provides a three-dimensional view is necessary.

Why Treat Impacted Teeth?

There are three basics reason for treating impacted canine teeth:

  • First and foremost is the visible effect on the appearance of your child’s smile because a tooth is missing. Sometimes a baby tooth stays in place, but that never looks right next to adult teeth.
  • Secondly, impacted teeth can damage adjacent teeth. Known as resorption, the impacted tooth can erode a portion of a healthy tooth. Pressure on adjacent teeth may also lead to misalignment.
  • Finally, a cyst or tumor can develop around the impacted tooth. At the very least, the lesion would need to be removed and additional surgical treatment may also be necessary.

How Are Impacted Teeth Treated?

If a baby tooth is still in position, then simply extracting it may allow the impacted tooth to move into position. If not, then Dr. Cartwright might need to refer your child to a trusted oral surgeon who will expose the impacted tooth and bond an orthodontic bracket to the tooth. The bracket is attached to an orthodontic wire that gently moves the tooth into position.

Contact Our Office Today

If your child’s smile seems to be missing a tooth, then the problem might be hiding in the jaw or palate. Call Cartwright Orthodontics today to schedule an evaluation.

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