Welcome to my blog for Castleton Orthodontics! I am Dr. Robert Holland and am thrilled to be sharing my first blog post with you! I take great pride in making Castleton Orthodontics not just a location for specialist care with braces and Invisalign / Clear Correct in Indianapolis, but also a resource to learn about dental and orofacial development.

So, what is an impacted tooth? An impacted tooth is simply a tooth that should have erupted into the mouth but did not. Any tooth can become impacted, but the most common tooth that does become impacted is the maxillary canine, or upper canine tooth. Teeth become impacted for a variety of reasons; insufficient space for the tooth in the mouth, developing with more teeth than normal, abnormalities in the normal development and metabolism of a tooth bud, or many other reasons.

(Depiction of impacted upper canine, Kazemi Oral Surgery)

What treatment is necessary when a tooth becomes impacted? Sometimes with an impacted tooth, simply using braces to create a space for the tooth to erupt into is sufficient to allow the problem to self correct. In more complicated cases of tooth impaction, it becomes necessary to recruit the assistance of a surgeon to place a chain on the tooth that your orthodontist can use to pull the tooth into the mouth. Treatment of impacted teeth is very case specific, and your orthodontist will gather models, xrays and photos to properly diagnose you or your child’s impacted tooth and discuss the best treatment option with you.

What can I do to avoid impacted teeth? 7 years of age is the right time for a child to first visit the orthodontist. A quick examination will allow your orthodontist to identify problems that are developing, such as an impacted tooth, and perform an interceptive treatment that will substantially reduce the risk of tooth impaction. Often times, simply extracting an extra tooth or a baby tooth and placing a Nance appliance or lower holding arch can prevent an impaction and save your child from more extensive orthodontic treatment when they are older.

(Photograph of Nance appliance)

Whether your dentist has informed you or your child that they have an impacted tooth, you suspect tooth impaction, or your child is 7 years of age and you would like a specialist to examine them, I highly recommend seeking out an orthodontist in your area who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics. If your are located in Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel or any surrounding areas, I invite you to schedule a free examination at Castleton Orthodontics!


-Robert V Holland, DDS MS, Specialist in Orthodontics