Canine Exposure

Canine Exposure

Sometimes certain teeth, especially canines, fail to erupt in a timely manner into a patient’s natural dentition. Oftentimes, we work in conjunction with an orthodontist to surgically expose this tooth, facilitating orthodontic movement and speeding up completion of treatment through braces.

Canines may not erupt into place due to a variety of reasons. The canine erupts downward and forward from its origin in the upper jaw. When this pathway is blocked by an existing tooth, the canine becomes impacted on the root of the existing lateral incisor. Other times, the bone does not properly remodel as the canine advances, leaving it buried under gum tissue and bone.

A canine exposure is performed to remove any bone or gum tissue that hinders the canine from properly erupting. The area is properly anesthetized, then a small incision is made over the position of the tooth. The gum tissue is reflected to visualize the tooth. Any bone that is blocking the pathway of eruption is then removed to expose the crown of the canine. An orthodontic bracket may or may not be bonded to the tooth at the time of surgery, depending on the nature of the impaction. This area is allowed to heal for 2-3 weeks, at which time the patient can then return to their orthodontist to continue treatment.

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