Impacted Canines

An impacted tooth is stuck in your jaw and may or may not break through your gums, depending on the severity of the impaction. The oral surgeons at Bay Area OSM perform procedures to expose your impacted canine teeth to improve functionality and the appearance of your smile. If you have impacted canine teeth, call one of our Bay Area OSM offices or schedule a consultation online today.

What is an impacted tooth?

Sometimes your teeth may not wholly emerge from your jaw. When this happens, your tooth is considered impacted. While your wisdom teeth are most likely to become impacted, your canine teeth may also get trapped in your jaw.

When a canine tooth is impacted, it can increase your risk of infection and decay. For example, if one of your canine teeth only partially erupts, you may struggle to keep it clean, and bacteria can make their way under your gumline to eat away at your tooth and jaw bone. Additionally, if your teeth don’t emerge correctly, it can lead to gaps and other spacing issues that could allow your other teeth to drift out of place. Some patients with an impacted tooth also suffer from TMJ problems and an increased risk of sepsis.

What happens when an impacted canine tooth is exposed?

The surgeons at Bay Area OSM begin your procedure by injecting a local anesthetic into your gums and providing a sedative to keep you relaxed and comfortable throughout the surgery. Their first step is to lift and remove the gum tissue covering your impacted canine tooth.

In some cases, impacted canine teeth are caused by blockages due to supernumerary teeth or other abnormalities in your jaw. Your surgeon can extract unnecessary teeth and remove other structures or spurs that are blocking your canine teeth from erupting into optimal function.

Something that can be done to help an impacted tooth grow into its proper place is a grid and chain procedure. The tooth is helped by giving it space to grow using braces or brackets and an orthodontic device is used to help the tooth emerge into its proper position.

After exposing your tooth, your surgeon uses dissolvable stitches to close any incisions and keep your gums away from your canine tooth to keep it exposed.

What can I expect while recovering from a procedure to expose an impacted canine tooth?

  • Your surgeon gives you customized instructions on how to take care of your exposed canine tooth following your surgery. In most cases, you will need to keep the surgical site covered with gauze for at least 24 hours. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication, and ice packs will also help reduce swelling and discomfort. You may want to adjust your diet by eating soft foods and nothing too hot or too cold as your mouth will be very sensitive. You also have follow-up appointments with your surgeon so they can check on your recovery and the success of the procedure.
  • If you have an impacted canine tooth and are looking for an experienced oral surgeon, call one of our Bay Area OSM offices or make an appointment online today.



When a tooth remains embedded in the soft gum tissue beyond the time that it should erupt, it is known as an impacted tooth. Sometimes this can happen because the teeth are overcrowded in the space on the jawline. This can then cause further problems such as twisting, tilting, or displacement as new teeth try to emerge.

Impaction is commonly seen at the time when the wisdom teeth try to emerge. The wisdom teeth (or third set of molars) are the last of the teeth to emerge. They usually appear in a person’s late teens or early 20s. By this time the other teeth are usually fully established and there is little space for the wisdom teeth to grow properly.

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