Canine Exposures Bethesda and Washington, DC
A relatively common issue that orthodontists see is the impacted canine tooth. Approximately 1-3% of us have an impacted canine tooth and that makes it the second most common tooth to be impacted, second only to wisdom teeth. However even at this low incidence, there are enough Bethesda and Washington, DC patients around us that orthodontists send to Dr. Puterman for treatment several times per month.
Canines in the upper jaw normally erupt at around 11 or 12 years of age. When this is delayed, the suspicion is raised that the tooth could be impacted.
X-rays are needed in order to verify this. Commonly orthodontists will take a panoramic x-ray (the kind that goes around the head) and sometimes a 3D xray (a dental CT scan) is needed in order to find the precise location of the tooth. Remember the old adage: Measure twice, cut once.
Once the exact location of the tooth is found, a plan will be devised in order to expose it. If the tooth is impacted towards the outside (under the lip), one method will be used and a different method used if the tooth is located towards the roof of the mouth. Depending on your circumstances, the orthodontist will either ask Dr. Puterman to place the bracket on the exposed tooth or they will place it themselves. Often times, once the tooth is exposed, it will almost immediately start to drift down into place, as you can see in the case below.
There are extra measures that can be taken during the exposure that help assure long-term proper gum support for the exposed tooth. While these measures sometimes take a few extra minutes in the procedure, these few minutes help prevent the need for gum grafting in the future. And as a periodontist, Dr. Puterman is specially trained in treating the gum tissue just the way it needs to be treated.
Schedule a canine exposure consultation with Dr. Puterman at his office in the Bethesda and Washington, DC area and find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Call (301) 652-0939.