Grid & Chain

Sometimes certain teeth, especially the cuspids and canines, do not emerge the way they should. Since these teeth are especially important for chewing, it’s necessary to take steps to make sure they grow in correctly. Contact one of our Bay Area OSM offices for an evaluation for a grid & chain procedure to rid yourself of impacted cuspids and canines. You can call any of our offices for an appointment or easily schedule online today.

What is a grid & chain procedure?

Sometimes your cuspids and canines don’t have enough room to grow in correctly and get impacted in your jaw. Since these are such important teeth for chewing and for your bite, it’s essential that they grow in correctly. In cases of impacted cuspids and canines, a grid and chain procedure is often the right option. A grid & chain procedure combines the talents of both your Bay Area OSM provider and an expert in orthodontics. Once your surgeon clears the way for your canine to emerge, braces are placed on your tooth to give it the necessary space to grow.  

How do I know if my canines are impacted?

Most canines usually emerge around the age of 13. If they aren’t coming out, make an appointment at one of our Bay Area offices for a professional evaluation. The experts utilize the latest in dental technology including X-rays, CT scans, and more.

The earlier an impacted tooth is treated, the better. The longer you wait, the greater chance it will fuse with the bone. At that point the only option is extraction.

What is a grid and chain procedure like?

First your Bay Area OSM provider surgically removes anything that is blocking the way of your canines emerging. This can be baby teeth that refuse to come out, other impacted adult teeth, or any abnormal growths or bone abnormalities.

At this point your surgeon will expose your impacted canine so that braces can be placed on your arch and your impacted tooth. This process allows for the grid & chain to pull it down into the proper place. Depending on your situation your impacted tooth might remain uncovered or your surgeon might choose to stitch up your gums around the bracket and chain. Slowly, your impacted tooth will shift into the correct position.

Frequently Asked Questions


Impacted teeth can sometimes happen because of overcrowding. As other teeth emerge they can take up the available space on the jawline, preventing others from emerging. Even if there is just a little space, the teeth can emerge unnaturally and become twisted, tilted or displaced.

Along with canines it is also common to see the wisdom teeth impacted. Wisdom teeth are also known as the third set of molars. As these teeth are the last to emerge, usually during your late teens or early 20’s, there is little space for them to grow out naturally. As this set of teeth are not essential, they can either be helped out by an orthodontic device or they can be extracted.


Although a tooth extraction procedure may make you feel conscious of your smile, there will be little to see from those looking on from outside. People often worry about unsightly bits of bone being exposed or metal contraptions filling the mouth. However this is not the case, with careful oral surgery, you will be able to continue to confidently smile.

There will not be any unsightly exposed bone or socket visible. The surgeon will sew together any incisions and after a few weeks the site will be completely healed.

Also, the grid and chain device will be well hidden. The brace usually sits below the gum line and there may be only a small piece of the chain exposed.

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