The upper eyetooth (maxillary canine) is the second most commonly impacted tooth. It is a very important tooth because it plays an extremely important role in your bite. Designed to be the first teeth that touch when your jaws close together, canine teeth are very strong, have the longest roots of any of your teeth, and are meant to guide the rest of the teeth into the proper bite.

Due to its important function, every effort is made to get an impacted canine to erupt into its proper position in your mouth among your other teeth.


The older you get, the less likely your impacted eyetooth will erupt naturally. The key is to ensure anything, such as over-retained baby teeth, selected adult teeth, or anything else that may be blocking the eruption of the impacted tooth is properly removed clearing a space for the tooth to erupt.

If the path is cleared and space is opened up by age 11 or 12, there is a good chance the impacted canine will erupt with nature’s help alone. If the eyetooth is allowed to develop too much (age 13-14), the impacted canine will not erupt by itself even with the space cleared for its eruption. In more mature patients (over 40), the tooth may be fused in place and never erupt at all.

The highly skilled surgeons at CVOS Oral Surgery partner with your family dentist and orthodontist to remove any obstructions and increase the likelihood of the canine erupting. In patients where the tooth has fused, your CVOS surgeon will also provide you with treatment options to replace the extracted tooth, such as a dental implant or fixed bridge denture.


In cases where your eyeteeth will not erupt spontaneously, your CVOS oral surgeon will partner with your orthodontist to ensure you receive expert treatment from start to finish. With each case evaluated on an individual basis, you can rest assured that your treatment will take into account the specific needs of your situation so that you receive the best care possible.


The surgery required is routine and typically performed in one of CVOS Oral Surgery’s offices under IV sedation. For most patients, the procedure takes approximately 45 minutes, although this depends on how many teeth are being treated.

As with all surgical procedures, you will meet with your surgeon prior to your surgery for a preoperative consultation where the process will be clearly explained to you and you will have an opportunity to have all your questions answered.

Following the surgery, you may experience a small amount of bleeding from the surgical sites. Regarding pain management, most patients find standard pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil to be more than adequate for the first 2 or 3 days following your procedure.

While bruising is not common, there may be some swelling in the area of the lip that can be minimized by applying ice packs to the lip for a few hours after surgery.

A soft, bland diet is recommended at first, but you may resume your normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable chewing. It is advised that you avoid sharp food items like crackers and chips as they will irritate the surgical site if they jab the wound during initial healing.

Your CVOS oral surgeon will see you seven to ten days after surgery to evaluate the healing process and make sure you are maintaining good oral hygiene. You should plan to see your orthodontist within 1-14 days following your procedure to activate the eruption process.

How To Schedule An Appointment

To receive your initial consultation with one of our oral surgeons, please contact your family dentist and ask to be referred.