What is tooth impaction? How it is treated? Geelong orthodontic specialists

At Fresh Smiles – Geelong Orthodontic specialists – Orthodontics is used to improve or correct a wide range of dental health concerns. It’s the visible problems that people think of, including crooked and crowded teeth, but braces can sometimes fix the ‘invisible’ problem of impacted teeth


What is an Impacted Tooth?

Impaction occurs when a tooth grows at an angle or moves into the gum space needed by another tooth. An impacted tooth can damage the root or crown of surrounding teeth. If the damage is severe and left untreated, the impacted tooth can cause a neighbouring tooth to loosen and fall out.
Types of Impaction

Multiple teeth can be diagnosed as impacted. Majority of the teeth observed in the orthodontic setting involve the upper permanent canines. These teeth have multiple presentations with regards to their location. Impacted canines can be located in the palate, towards the cheek/lips, or even severely harm the teeth around them.

Depending on the diagnosed location, various treatments can be provided by an orthodontist. Other teeth commonly seen impacted are molars and premolars. These teeth can be impacted in a number of ways. The impacted tooth type depends on the angle of the tooth.

How Do You Know Your Tooth is Impacted?

Many people are unaware that they have an impacted tooth until they visit their dentist. An examination or x-ray confirms that a tooth is coming through the gum at a crooked angle or it can’t erupt.

Other people experience symptoms so they’re aware something is wrong with their tooth. They may have a painful or swollen gum, headache, or even struggle to open their mouth fully.
How Orthodontics Help With Impacted Teeth

Orthodontic treatment can fix a range of dental and health problems, including an impacted tooth.
Early Stage Treatment (Canine Impaction)

A dentist or orthodontist may notice an impacted canine in its early days. With treatment, the tooth can erupt without being impacted. A baby tooth may need to be extracted to give an adult tooth the chance to erupt. A spacer may stop a tooth from erupting into the space that should be available for another tooth. When more room is needed in an arch, a child whose jaw is still growing may have a palate expander fitted.

The earlier an impacted tooth is diagnosed, the greater the chance of fixing the problem without damaging (or losing) the tooth or the teeth that surround it.
Braces for Impacted Canine Teeth

Braces are regularly used to assist with impacted canine teeth. The braces can pull an impacted tooth into its correct position. Being upright and in the correct position, the tooth can now assist with the biting and chewing functions. However, if the impacted canine does not erupt into the space provided, the tooth may require an uncovering procedure from a separate specialist (a referral would be required). This procedure uncovers the impacted tooth and braces can be attached to this tooth to allow for its movement into the mouth.

If an impacted tooth has caused overcrowding or crooked teeth, braces can pull multiple teeth into their desired position, so the full arch of teeth are straight and correctly spaced. The braces are used not only for aesthetic results but can also improve the health of the mouth because the teeth are easier to keep clean.


To find out more information contact us for a free consultation.