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At what age a canine would be considered impacted?


Unerupted canine at 7 years old?


My daughter has an impacted canine and the orthodontic dr said that we rather not touch it and leave it like that.

She said it is too close to the nose and a very delicate surgery.

Of course i rather not have surgery for my 7 years old daughter but wanted to ask your opinion.


Dental Age 7

Your question relates to the eruption sequence and timing of eruption. Therefore, one need to understand what is considered normal at age 7 in term of the evolution of the dentition.


At age 7, the four lower incisors and the maxillary central incisors (1.1, 2.1) are erupted. Root formation of the maxillary lateral incisors (1.2, 2.2) are well advanced but it is still about 1 year from eruption while the canines (1.3, 2.3) and the premolars are still in the stage of crown completion or just at the beginning of root formation.

So we can not pretend that the canines of your 7 years old daugther are impacted whil it is normal that they are very high and near the nose at this age.

For more information, I recommend that you visit the page “dental age“. The keynote is in french, but most picture are self explanatory.

I hope that help.


Contemporary Orthodontics 5th edition, Proffit WR, Fields HW, Sarvers DM, Elsevier 2013, Chapter 3.



Questions et commentaires

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  1. Swee Yit says:

    Dear Dr Chamberland
    My 10 year old daughter is having some issues with her upper canines. The canine shown the panogram and ceph shows they are above.
    About 1.5year ago, her lateral incisors extracted as part for the cross biting correction. Now the orthodontist is suggesting her canines may need to be extracted too. I like to understand the condition of my 10 year old girl’s maxillary canines. Would there be a possibility it will erupt?
    I like to post her panogram here for your opinioin.
    Many thanks

    1. I hope you meant that the primary canine were extract, NOT the lateral incisors.

      I will assume that the dental condition is what I see on the panogram and that your daughter has all her permanent teeth at this stage.

      First of all, the canine are impacted very high at the nasal floor level, they seems to be in labial position rather than palatal.

      There is no space bwtween the lateral incisors and the 1st premolar. It is fairly obvious that there is crowding in the mandibular arch.

      If the canine were not impacted so high, I would guess that extraction of 4 premolars will be likely necessary to align all the teeth in a nice class I occlusion.

      But with such high canine, it make sense to trade the extraction of 2 maxillary premolars for the extraction of 2 maxillary canines and still extract 2 lower premolars.

      I understoud you absolutely want to save the permanent canines. It is feasible, but you have to understand that there may be some risk that come along with this decision like ankylose of the canines during treatment. If this his your choice and you were my patient, I would accept to do it for you. However, it will likely cost more and take longer. Tonight I replied to another internaut from Spain where her daughter is in treatment for more than 2 years and is having trouble to bring the canines.

      I doubt that the case of your daughter can be done without extraction at all. I don’t think it is feasible, but I would need to see her for a clinical exam.

      I wish you good luck, I undestand your concerns, it is not that bad to extract the canines. Sometimes, it may be the best option available.

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