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Narrow Upper Jaw and Canine Teeth

June 1, 2023

Dr. Bockow shares a study showing how expanding the maxilla or upper jaw can improve successful eruption of palatally impacted canines as compared to a watchful waiting strategy.

Dr. Rebecca Bockow is a dual-trained board-certified orthodontist and periodontist – one of only a handful in the country. She lectures nationally on periodontics, orthodontics, interdisciplinary orthodontics, airway, and skeletal growth and development.

"What about canines? We alluded to this earlier if there's insufficient room to accommodate the eruption of the adult dentition oftentimes the canines pay the price, and we start to see impacted canines with the narrow maxilla.

"So this was an interesting paper, it looked at CBCTs with and without impacted canines and measured the maxilla. So they looked... it was a retrospective study. They looked at no canine impaction, unilateral canine impaction and bilateral canine impaction.

"They found that the groups with unilateral and bilaterally impacted canines showed significantly smaller arches than control. So we may go so far as to say that when we have an impacted canine, we have a narrow maxilla.

"So intervention strategies, this is another really interesting paper. They had two treatment groups. These patients all had impacted canines. They all were young patients. One group, they expanded and extracted the primary canines and then the other group they did watchful waiting and they asked the question how often do the canines come in?

"In the expansion group 80% of the canines came in when they did expansion and took out the baby canines. In the watchful waiting group only 28% of the palatally impacted canines came in. Pretty incredible, 28 to 80 percent. So when we create the space for the canines often, not always, but often they come in.”

Dr. Bockow loves to create beautiful smiles for her patients, setting them up for a lifetime of dental and airway health.

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