Cuspids are better known as canines, or eye teeth. They are crucial to a proper bite as they guide the other teeth into place. Some time around 12-13 years of age, the maxillary (upper) canines should erupt. Dr. Devin S. Cochran is the orthodontist to see in San Antonio, Texas if something is amiss. For normal eruption of a tooth to take place, there must be enough extra room. Proper bone development and spacing are essential for adult teeth to move into place or cuspids may become impacted. Most often, insufficient bone development is the culprit, but other teeth or even odontomes (excess structures made of enamel or dentin) could be blocking normal cuspid eruption. Early detection of potential issues by a dentist can minimize the amount of work done in the future.
Get a Head Start
There are times when expanding the dental arch will allow eruption to begin naturally. As soon as the dentist suggests a visit to the orthodontist, it is wise to set up an initial consultation at Cochran Orthodontics. Rest assured, Dr. Cochran will make every effort to bring about eruption of impacted cuspids without oral surgery. Young mouths respond well to corrective care, so if it is possible to guide a newly erupted tooth into alignment, it will be done.
In cases where the impacted teeth will not budge, Dr. Cochran will devise a plan of action. This is a relatively simple procedure where the impacted tooth is exposed. If there are baby teeth or obstructions, those will likely be removed at this time to create much needed space. An orthodontic bracket with a tiny gold chain is then bonded to the exposed tooth. The arch wire will already be in place so the chain can be attached to the wire temporarily. Depending on the individual treatment plan, the impacted tooth may be left exposed, with the gum sutured up and out of the way. However, it is more common for the gum to be stitched up surrounding the gold chain. After a bit of healing has occurred (a week or two), the next step is to return to Dr. Cochran to have a rubber band attached to the chain. The rubber band exerts a pulling force that begins to move the tooth towards its final destination in the patient’s dental arch.
Impacted cuspids are indeed a problem, but Dr. Cochran and his caring staff at Cochran Orthodontics are here to help you.