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  1. #1

    Unhappy canine exposure or implants???

    Hi guys,

    I'm 25 and have braces now for about four months. I found out last year i have two impacted canines on top. I'm told they may damage the existing front teeth so i have two options: one, expose the impacted canine, remove the baby canines and wait for them to be pulled down with chains (gold chains!). Or else I could remove the impacted AND baby canines and get implants.

    I've been advised that bringing teeth down now naturally is best but there is a risk of them being 'stuck'. Also, i'm not very vain, but the thought of having two big gaps while waiting for the teeth to come down is pretty horrible!

    so......i need to make up my mind pretty soon.

    anyone had either of these options done before? any recommendations?

    thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    I've followed a few people's stories who have chosen the exposure option. Most met with success, although I know one lady who had one of the two prove impossible to bring down.

    I must echo the advice you've already been given, that having your natural teeth is preferable to implants. And this is especially true for the canines, since these teeth play a very particular role in your bite.

    I'd advise you to go for it. Worst case scenario is the impacted teeth prove to be ankylosed, and even with luxation refuse to move - in that case you can fall back on the implants option. Best case though you end up with your own canines where they are supposed to be.

    I can understand and sympathise with your concern about having to live with the gaps whilst the adult canines are brought down into place. However, the implant route is not without its own challenges to our self-image. As far as I've understood it, it is usual to wait a period of anything from three to six months after the fixture - the portion of the implant that is embedded in the bone to act as an "artificial root" - is placed before the abutment and crown are placed. This is to allow for a process called osseointegration to take place, so that the fixture becomes "integrated" with the bone, and will be able to bear the forces involved in biting and chewing.

    Another thing you should consider about implants as you make your decision is that they can sometimes fail. There are many factors that influence the chance of this, such as certain medical conditions or medications, bruxism (grinding), or smoking.

    ANyway, good luck with your decision and with your treatment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Blog Entries
    Hi Summer ... I faced similar decisions four years ago ... and several times prior to that. Every orthodontist I saw over a period of 20 years recommended that I have my impacted canine exposed. When I eventually was ready to go with treatment, it was too late and it was (and still is) firmly attached to the bone in my jaw.

    The second option was to remove the impacted canine, but that wasn't an option due to where the impacted canine is attached to the bone. So the third option was to close the gap, so that I didn't need a plate or bridge. Fourth option ... least preferred ... was to open the gap, for a plate or bridge. My ortho and OS recommended the third and I went with that. It's a slow process for me, mostly due to the impacted canine still being there ... but it's happening and that's the best part.

    The gap ... yes there's no way gaps are pretty when we look at them, but I'm confident that most other people don't see the gap on the sides of our mouth, just as they don't really notice we have braces ... or teeth probably. The best part is that the gap won't be there for long ... which is why orthodontics is such a great idea for problems like impacted canines.

    Impacted canines seems quite a common issue and the ortho's I work for mostly have success at bringing them down. So here's to you being a successful case and that they move quite quickly.

    Good luck with your decision! :)
    After 5 years, 11 months and two days of stainless steel brackets ... my teeth now have upper and lower bonded, gold wire, retainers and removable clear retainers!

  4. I feel your pain

    Hey Summer-
    I saw your post and I had to reply to you. I actually had the same exact problem that you have. I was 18 when I found out that I never lost my eye teeth and that I had the choice of either getting impants or getting braces to correct the problem. Really, this was such a tough choice for me. I was so mad, especially since this only happens to 2% of the population and I couldnt believe that I fell in that small percentage. Everyone told me that it was better to have my natural teeth since they were up there and that I should get the braces. I hated the idea of having braces sooo much and having those 2 spaces there really really got me worried. I finally decided that I would get the braces and try to get my natural teeth down since many people told me that there could be a lot of complications with the implants. Many people reject the implants since they are foreign to the body. I got the braces when I was 21 and I am now 24. I just got them off a couple of weeks ago, and I have to tell you, that it is worth everything that you go through in the end. It really is a tough thing to go through. I am not going to lie, it takes a lot of time, energy, and patience. Also, the two spaces there is pretty tough to get used to, but really you cannot see it with everything else that is going on in your mouth and those teeth come down before you know it. I can definitely tell you that I do not regret it at all. Not only do I have my two eye teeth, but they are also perfectly straight. I understand what you are going through, since I was in my 20's when I got them also. However, I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my story so that you would see that it isn't that bad :) Good luck with your you decision!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    South Florida
    Blog Entries
    Good of you to join and share Dulcita. :toast:
    In Retainers. Hawley On Top and Perm Retainer Lower.

  6. Good for you Dulcita! :)
    Great story!

  7. #7
    Two great things about your post, Dulcita - you share with people that a young adult can get through having braces and gaps, and "live to tell the tale" ;) and you share with people that these unerupted adult canines really can be brought down into place, which might seem absolutely astrounding to many people :)

  8. #8
    I also have impacted canines, and my orthodonist suggested to have the baby ones removed to give the adult ones a chance to grow in on their own. (I'm 14) I waited 3 months, and this never happened. My orthodonist then told me that I should seriously consider getting impacted canine exposure surgery. I wasn't sure, but decided to go for it, and had the surgery this morning. I'm not going to lie: it's uncomfortable and long, and afterwards you bleed a lot and it hurts like crazy. But I think overall, it's the best decision to get the surgery. The impacted canines can cause major problems for you in the future if you don't do anything about them. I would advise you to get the surgery. It's far worth it in the long run. Best of luck.

  9. #9
    I am 40 yrs old just got braces & had surgery for my impacted canine, the plan was to expose & bracket the impacted canine but was told my tooth would not move because I waited too long now it's attached to my bone. I just find it hard to believe in this day and age that my only option is to remove the tooth if possible and get a bridge or implant. They didn't mention that I can have my other teeth fill in the gap like Dulcita mentioned, is this option possible for everyone?? Help!!!

  10. #10
    I am 46 with two impacted canines. I still have both of my baby teeth as well, but they are capped to look like permanent teeth. However, now my right one is loose and about ready to fall out. I just got porcelain braces put on 4 days ago. They are driving me crazy, but I'm thinking I'll lose some weight, so I'll deal with it. LOL My concern is that once I go to get the exposure surgery in about 6 months, they will tell me the same thing as ebas17...that my tooth is fused to the bone. I would have to see if it could then be removed and have an implant put in. My ortho told me that they can put a fake tooth on a wire to fill the gap until the implant was ready for the fake tooth. I DO NOT want a partial plate, or anything that I have constantly have in my mouth for the rest of my life. My mom had one of those and she was always playing with it. Drove me crazy to watch her do that.
    I watched a video on removal of an impacted canine and about fainted. That has to hurt REALLY bad when it's over. My ortho wants to remove the left one, even though it's not bothering me. I'm really worried about going through all of this at my age. I've been so lucky never having a cavity my whole life and pretty straight teeth. My only problem is two impacted canines. The whole 'dental pain' thing is pretty new to me.

    Looking for reassurance here. :)

  11. Pennymoon & Ebas17,

    I noticed your post was fairly recent. I am 35, have 2 impacted canines (still have baby canines built up as well), and have no permanent lateral incisors. The ortho gave me every x-ray under the planet and felt that I'd have a good chance bringing the canines down. However, I visited the oral surgeon and he explained the difficulties with bringing them down and said I probably have a 50/50 shot at my age. The surgeon also said pulling the teeth with such large roots could be dangerous too, b/c the hole left from it would be quite large and the filler they use pales in comparison to actual bone - then a lot of times the implants won't hold well in this filler.

    So, I'm kind of in a tough spot and was wondering how the two of you were doing. I'm considering trying to get the canines down, but could be opening a large can of worms. Both of you Ebas17 and Pennymoon are in similar territory as myself and I would love to hear how things are going for you and would like to share information down the road.


  12. #12
    An impacted tooth is one that is trapped inside the jawbone and cannot erupt into the mouth. Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the most commonly impacted teeth. Wisdom teeth get trapped in the back of the jaw and can develop painful infections among a host of other problems. Since there is rarely a functional need for wisdom teeth, they are usually extracted if they develop problems. So , I was looking for this knowledgeable from .Thanks for sharing your precious comprehension with me .



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