The adult canine teeth erupt between ages of 12 to 14. However, they may become impacted, stuck or misaligned during the development phase. The orthodontist will often request what is called a “canine exposure” to be done by the oral surgeon to aid them in realigning the canine tooth.
A canine exposure is a 30-minute procedure, often performed under IV sedation or nitrous oxide, which usually heals in five to seven days. The surgeon exposes the tooth surgically, attaches a bracket with a special chain that is used later by the orthodontist to guide the canine in the mouth using orthodontic techniques. This procedure is recommended to help align the canine in its proper position and avoid potential damage to adjacent teeth that can occur when it is left impacted.