Unfortunately, our teeth don’t always erupt in the pattern that they are supposed to erupt. When our adult teeth remain impacted within the jaws, sometimes this can affect the stability and alignment of the rest of the teeth. One of the more commonly impacted adult teeth (excluding wisdom teeth) is the maxillary cuspid or canine. When your orthodontist places you or your child in braces to align the upper teeth, he or she creates space for the maxillary canine to erupt into it’s natural position in the dental arch. If this natural process does not occur, the orthodontist will refer the patient to see our surgeons for an evaluation. Many times, we can expose the impacted tooth and place an orthodontic bracket on the tooth, which allows the orthodontist to move the tooth into it’s natural position. This procedure is often called Exposure and Bracketing.
Sometimes, your orthodontist needs additional modalities to accomplish the alignment of your teeth. When conventional banding and bracketing of the teeth is not adequate to accomplish the necessary orthodontic movement of your teeth, you may be referred to one of our surgeons for an evaluation. Special cases may require the placement of Orthodontic Anchors by one of our surgeons to allow your orthodontist to accomplish movements of your teeth that are simply not possible with conventional braces. These anchors are small screws (and/or plates) that are placed into the solid bone of your jaws in a simple procedure performed easily with local anesthesia. Removal of the anchors after the orthodontic movements are complete is also very simple and can be accomplished easily with local anesthesia. Most patients find these anchors to be very tolerable and experience very little discomfort during the entire process.