Impacted teeth

What Is An Impacted Tooth?

April 4th, 2018

FOR MOST PEOPLE, baby teeth become loose and adult teeth erupt in their place. For many, those adult teeth don’t come in entirely straight, so orthodontic treatment is necessary to shift them into the ideal position. For some, one or more of these teeth never emerge on their own, even though they developed in the jaw bone. These are impacted teeth.

Why Does Tooth Impaction Happen?

Tooth impaction is often the result of a crowding problem. If the new tooth doesn’t have room to come in, it may remain stuck beneath the gums. A full impaction is when the tooth fails to erupt at all, whereas a partial impaction is when the tooth breaches the gumline but doesn’t grow in completely.

Teeth Lost In The Gums

The most common teeth to become impacted are wisdom teeth. They might be impacted because there isn’t room for them in the jaw, they may be crooked, or they could even be completely sideways, threatening the roots of second molars. Another tooth commonly impacted is the upper maxillary canine, and lower mandibular canines and upper and lower premolars can be impacted as well.

Research shows that if there’s a history of impacted upper canines in your family, you are more likely to have them as well. Most often, only one canine will be impacted, but sometimes both are. Why the upper canines? Normally, they come in after the incisors and the premolars. When those don’t leave enough room between them, the canines have nowhere to go.

Symptoms And Complications Of Impacted Teeth

Some people with an impacted tooth show no symptoms except that the tooth doesn’t erupt. If it’s a canine, the baby tooth may not even loosen on its own! But even without symptoms, canine teeth are critical to a great smile because they provide essential structure and support. They also take on much of the chewing pressure thanks to their longer roots, which protects the surrounding teeth.

Impacted teeth often cause complications and symptoms besides a lopsided smile. Impacted teeth can push into neighboring teeth beneath the gums and cause cavities, infections, gum disease, or nerve damage. Symptoms might include bad breath, pain, tenderness around the jawline, a prolonged headache or jaw ache, swollen gums, swollen lymph nodes, bad taste in mouth, and visible gaps.

Treatment: A Place For Every Tooth

Impaction of a tooth usually can’t be prevented, but the tooth can be removed (in the case of wisdom teeth) or moved into its proper position (in the case of canines) with oral surgery and orthodontic treatment. An impacted tooth is usually discovered through dental x-rays, and then the orthodontist can determine the best course of action to take.

Help Us Help You

If you think you may have an impacted tooth, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California for a free orthodontic exam. We’re always here to help and to treat your impacted tooth.

Your smile is our inspiration!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

PROPEL®: Your Smile Made Faster

October 6th, 2016

WHO DOESN’T WANT straight teeth and a beautiful smile? We all do! For those of you who have put off orthodontic treatment in the past due to lengthy treatment time, we have the solution for you. We offer the PROPEL® system at our practice to give you your dream smile in half the time!

What Is The Propel System?

Orthodontics works by changing and remodeling the bones that surround your teeth. Using the Propel system, we can accelerate the process of bone remodeling, causing your teeth to move more quickly.

The FDA approved Propel system uses a medical device to stimulate the bone surrounding teeth. Used in conjunction with orthodontic systems like invisible aligners and traditional braces, straightening teeth becomes quicker and more efficient.

The minimally invasive Propel procedure is performed in minutes here at our practice. Patients can return to their daily schedule and activities with no needed recovery time!

Here’s Why You Should Consider Propel

Because it works! If you’ve put off straightening your teeth, now is the time to do it. With Propel orthodontics, getting the smile you’ve always wanted is faster and more efficient than ever.

Propel is especially effective in the treatment of impacted canine teeth. An impacted tooth makes a long journey through thick bone. This journey can sometimes take up to a year for your tooth to come into it's ideal position. Working with your oral surgeon at the time of canine exposure, your bone can be softened by Propel, like making tiny cracks in ice, so that your tooth can move it's way through the bone more easily, quickly, and comfortably while shortening your orthodontic treatment time.

Propel can also be effectively used with Invisalign. Using Propel will allow you to change your trays every week rather than every two weeks, cutting your treatment time in half.

At Gorczyca Orthodontics, we like to offer Propel at the time of wisdom tooth extraction. We work with your oral surgeon to complete the Propel procedure while under anesthesia so you don't even feel that you have had it done!

With Propel, You Don’t Have To Waste Any Time

Our goal is to provide the best orthodontic care to our patients. That’s why we offer Propel in our practice. With the Propel system, you can straighten your teeth in half the time! Don’t let drawn-out treatment times keep you from getting your dream smile.

If you have questions about Propel or accelerated orthodontics, call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000. Find us at in Antioch, California.

Here's to your beautiful Propel smile!

Talk to us about Propel today!

Our patients are our priority!

Top image by Propel Orthodontics. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Kowabunga Dude! Expose Your Impacted Canine

April 8th, 2015


Yet, it often creeps up on other teeth and takes a bite out of their roots.

There is danger in the unerupted impacted canine.

An Orthodontist Knows How To Recognize The Problem

Early detection of impacted canines is often missed by non-orthodontists. The teeth and bite may look great and there may be no patient complaints. Yet, an orthodontist knows that when primary canines are not lost by age 12, lurking below the surface of the oral cavity, there may be... the impacted canine.

Working With A Team, We Can Eliminate The Threat

Impacted canines can be detected by panoramic X-ray or a CBCT for a 3-dimensional view. Once found, your orthodontist will recommend opening adequate space orthodontically for the impacted canine and refer you to an oral surgeon for impacted canine exposure. The oral surgeon will then expose your canine and place an orthodontic bracket with a gold chain attached on to the impacted tooth. Your orthodontist will then bring your impacted canine into your mouth slowly, gently, and methodically. Once in your mouth, your canine can function properly. Your canine can no longer be a threat to your bone or other teeth.

When Is The Time Right?

It is important to bring in an impacted canine into your mouth as soon as possible. Movement around age 12 is ideal. Movement after age 15 is slower. Movement after age 21 may no longer be possible.

What’s The Danger?

Why remove the impacted canine? The primary baby tooth canine will eventually be lost. It may be at age 40, 50, or 30. We don’t know when, but chances are, the baby tooth canine will not be maintained for your entire adult life. When lost, it may not be possible to place an implant for tooth replacement with the impacted canine in an implant blocking position. Your impacted canine could limit your future tooth replacement options to a fixed bridge or partial denture. As an adult, an impacted canine is very difficult to remove.

Call Us For More Information

This case was treated by Board Certified Orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca of Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, CA. Find us at or call us at 925-757-9000 for a complimentary orthodontic examination.

Kowabunga Dude! Don’t be scared of an impacted canine! Expose this threat for ideal dental health.

More Topics
diplomate american board of orthodontics Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists advanced education in orthdontics
member american association of orthodontists seattle study club american dental association california dental association
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