Canine Exposure

Tooth Exposure

During childhood, our teeth begin to emerge or erupt from the gumline. These baby teeth fall out and are replaced with our permanent teeth as we get older. When teeth fail to emerge from the gumline or get stuck partially or fully within the gum tissue, they are referred to as impacted teeth. The teeth in the mouth that most commonly become impacted are the wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars in the back of the mouth. However, canine teeth also commonly become impacted. We offer canine exposure (also known as tooth exposure) for impacted canines.

What are canine teeth?

Canine teeth is the term given to the 2 maxillary cuspids and 2 mandibular cuspids. The 2 maxillary cuspids are the teeth on either side of your upper jaw that are pointed or shaped like those of a canine. The 2 mandibular cuspids are the same teeth but of the lower jaw. Human canine teeth are not as pointed, long, or pronounced as the canines that the name is borrowed from, but they are in a similar position of our mouths and are typically longer than our other teeth.


What is an impacted canine?

When 1 or more of your canines are trapped under the gumline, the tooth or teeth are considered impacted. Canine teeth can be either partially or fully trapped under the gumline, resulting in partially impacted canine teeth or fully impacted canine teeth. Impacted canine teeth may cause irritation or inflammation of the gums, bad breath, tooth decay, misalignment, and overall discomfort.

What is canine exposure or tooth exposure?

Canine exposure utilizes oral surgery techniques to treat impacted canine teeth. Canine exposure must be performed on an individual level, ensuring that Dr. Pashapour and his surgical team take in the unique details of each patient’s case. Tooth exposure may be as simple as creating space within the gumline for the impacted tooth to erupt. In some cases, clearing space for the impacted tooth will initiate the emergence of the canines.

If the impacted tooth still does not emerge after space is made, a simple surgical procedure may be required where the gum on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted to expose the hidden canine. During this canine exposure procedure, brackets or wires may be utilized in order to help move the impacted canine out from the gumline into its proper position. Dr. Pashapour and his surgical team will discuss which tooth exposure procedure is ideal for your specific needs during your consultation at our DC office.

What should I expect from tooth exposure in DC?

In the majority of cases, canine exposure is a simple procedure that can be completed in 1 visit to our Virginia oral surgery office. Depending on what form of canine exposure you undergo, anesthesia will be used to promote patient comfort during the procedure. We will inform you of any steps to take prior to your procedure and answer any of your questions during your consultation for canine exposure.

How can I get started with canine exposure?

Dr. Pashapour and his staff at Pashapour Oral + Facial Surgery would be happy to discuss the details of a canine exposure with you. To schedule an appointment in Washington, DC or Arlington, please call our office at 703-566-1990 or request an appointment online.

Having Impacted Canine Surgery

Professional Memberships

Educational Background

Georgetown University The University of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine Drexel University College Of Medicine University Of Medicine & Dentistry Of New Jersey

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