When it comes to impacted teeth, the earlier the intervention, the better. Dr. Cynthia Wong is a long-trusted Orland Park orthodontist who regularly assesses children for risk of dental impaction. What this means is that we’re able to determine whether anything will prevent their teeth from erupting in the right place, and if so, what can be done.
People may be familiar with the concept of dental impaction from unerupted wisdom teeth. These are often treated late in adolescence by extracting them. But the wisdom teeth are not the only ones which may be stuck, and extraction is not always necessary. The upper canine teeth often push through the side of the maxillary ridge or are unable to erupt at all. If the patient is a teenager, we may be able to use orthodontic brackets and specially-shaped wires called ballista springs to guide the canines downward.
The bones in children’s skulls have not yet fused together, which allows them to undergo orthodontic procedures unavailable to adults. A procedure like guided canine eruption is unlikely to be successful in a person who has finished adolescence, but a child may not need it if they undergo palate expansion. With a specialized orthodontic appliance, the upper jaw can be widened, making more room for the adult canines and other teeth. It may also be possible to make room for unerupted teeth using ordinary braces if the potential for overcrowding is recognized early enough.