An impacted tooth is one that is trapped inside the jawbone and cannot erupt into the mouth. Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the most commonly impacted teeth. Wisdom teeth get trapped 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 problems.
The upper canine, also referred to as a cuspid or eyetooth, is the second most common tooth to become impacted or trapped in the jawbone. Unlike wisdom teeth, the canine is a very important tooth both for a beautiful, symmetrical smile and upper lip support, and for a functional bite and ability to chew food effectively.
When teeth (excluding wisdom teeth) are impacted it is important to expose them so that it may erupt into the mouth properly. Your family dentist or orthodontic specialist will then monitor tooth eruption following exposure. This is not an appointment to be feared and can be done even on children and young adults with the help of sedation, or sleepy, options, and with the gentle care of Dr. Gregory and her team.
We look forward to seeing you today and giving those healthy, important teeth a chance to erupt properly and function beautifully for a lifetime!