Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

Impacted Canines

Impacted canine teeth can cause many oral health issues and compromise the appearance of your smile.

The longer canines remain impacted, the more likely they are to cause problems.  Fortunately, several treatments can correct this issue.

How do I know if I need to worry about impacted canines?

When to Become Concerned about Impacted Canines

Delayed Eruption

Canine teeth (the long, pointed teeth next to the incisors) typically erupt between ages 11 and 12. If by age 14 or 15, they still have not appeared or the baby tooth is still in place, you may need treatment for impaction

Absence of Usual Signs

Generally, by age 10, children should have a bulge in the location where the canines are going to erupt. This lump should appear on the front of the gums, not on the soft palate. 

Tipped or Migrated Canines

In some cases, canine teeth can start to grow in crooked, sideways, or backward. These are signs of impaction and may require treatment.

Impacted Canines Are Difficult to Spot without an X-Ray

When a tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is caught in the jaw or under the gums, meaning visible signs of issues are less likely.

If you suspect impacted canines, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist for an x-ray.

Impacted Teeth Are More Common for Women Than for Men

Studies show that canine impaction is about twice as common in females than in males. 

Certain genetic factors can also affect how your canine teeth erupt. If a close family member had impacted canines, it is more likely you will also develop this condition.

While the Cause of Canine Impaction Isn't Always Clear, There Are a Few Common Factors

Insufficient Jaw Space

A common reason canines fail to erupt is jaw space. For many patients with impacted canines, the tooth is too large to fit in the available space. This may happen because the jaw is crowded or too small

Timing of Tooth Loss

Baby teeth act as guides for adult teeth. If the baby tooth falls out too early or too late, it can affect the ability of the permanent tooth to grow in properly.

Unusual Growth

Extra teeth, abnormal growths on the soft tissue, or other issues can all interfere with the proper eruption of canine teeth.

Maxillary Canines Are the Second Most Commonly Impacted Teeth

X-Rays Are an Excellent Tool for Identifying Impacted Teeth

If your doctor suspects one or more of your canine teeth are impacted, he or she will likely take a panoramic x-ray. In some cases, your dentist may also use a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan to assess damage to neighboring teeth and the amount of bone around the impacted tooth. This information can help your dentist determine the cause of the impaction and the best treatment method.

Generally, the older a patient is, the less likely canine teeth will be to erupt on their own. 

Early Diagnosis Can Help Avoid Problems

Schedule an Orthodontic Exam Early

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends all children undergo an orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven. This appointment allows an orthodontist to spot potential issues with canine teeth before they become a problem.

Extracting Extra Teeth

Some individuals have a condition known as hyperdontia, which causes extra teeth to grow. These extra teeth can cause overcrowding and prevent canine teeth from erupting properly. Removing these teeth early can help prevent impaction.

Interceptive Orthodontics

More and more orthodontists recommend children undergo early treatment to help ensure the jaw develops properly. Interceptive treatment can include braces, palatal expanders, or other devices that create enough space in the jaw for all teeth to erupt at the right time and in the right place.

"The most desirable approach for managing impacted maxillary canines is early diagnosis and interception of potential impaction."
Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences

When Prevention Isn't Possible, Orthodontics Can Make a Big Difference

Braces or other orthodontic treatments can create space for the canine teeth to erupt and then guide them into place. Adults may need a minor procedure to expose the impacted canine and place a bracket to pull it into position.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are concerned about impacted canines, make an appointment. Your doctor can assess your issues and determine the best way to maintain the health and beauty of your smile

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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