Orthodontics: Impacted Teeth

by Dr. Thomas C. Lee

Orthodontics: Impacted Teeth

One of the most common orthodontic conditions is tooth impaction. This is an issue that occurs early in life when children lose their milk teeth and their adult teeth come in. In some cases following the loss of milk teeth, a person’s adult teeth don’t erupt because they’re stuck in the jaw bone. When this situation occurs, it’s referred to as tooth impaction.

Tooth is a common symptom of crowding

Teeth need space to erupt, but many people do not have sufficient space for every new tooth to erupt. Mild crowding can create a crooked eruption pattern, and severe impaction can prevent teeth from erupting completely.

Orthodontics: Impacted Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the most susceptible to impaction

Due to their location, size, and timeline for eruption, wisdom teeth are the most affected by crowding issues and the most likely teeth to become impacted. Some people may have one or two wisdom teeth erupt, and the rest of their wisdom teeth impacted. Wisdom teeth can be impacted from lack of space, or from being crooked or sideways.

Impacted canines

The upper canines are the other teeth most likely to be impacted. In most cases only one canine tooth is impacted, but some people will have two impacted upper canines. In some orthodontic cases, a patient may have an otherwise nearly perfect smile naturally, aside from their canines. Canines are such a frequently impacted tooth because they come in after other teeth, so the space is already taken.

Can orthodontic treatment help with tooth impaction?

Of course! Orthodontics is all about optimizing the development and orientation of a patient’s teeth and jaw alignment. Every case is unique, so the exact course of treatment needed to correct tooth impaction will be different for each patient. Early orthodontic treatment is recommended for younger patients, and there are many treatment options available for teens and adults.

Are you experiencing possible tooth impaction?

Thousand Oaks Orthodontics can treat every orthodontic condition and we have patients from age 8 to age 80. If you’re experiencing tooth impaction in yourself, or you have a child who you think needs and orthodontic evaluation, please:

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