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Article: Volume 47 Number 2 Page 153 - February 2020

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  Dental Update 475: 153-161

Orthodontics:  The Management and ‘Fate’ of Palatally Ectopic Maxillary Canines

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Abstract: With the exception of third molar teeth, the maxillary canine is the most frequently impacted tooth, with the majority of these being palatally ectopic. When patients present with impacted canines there can often be several treatment options available to them. These could include interceptive treatment, exposure and alignment of the canine, extraction of the impacted tooth or acceptance of the deciduous canine. It is important that treatment decisions determining the ‘fate’ of palatally impacted canines should be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Clinical relevance: The clinician should understand that several options might be available to the patient presenting with a palatally ectopic maxillary canine, in order to allow an informed choice of treatment.

Author notes: Leonie Seager, BDS, MFDS, MSc, MOrth RCS(Ed), Specialist Orthodontist, Shrewsbury Orthodontic Centre and Royal Stoke University Hospital (email:, Jinesh Shah, BDS, MFDS RCS(Edin), MClinDent(Shef), MOrth RCS(Edin), FDS(Orth) RCS(Edin), FDS RCS(Eng), Orthodontic Consultant, Royal Stoke University Hospital and FJ Trevor Burke, DDS, BDS, MSc, MGDS RCS(Ed), FDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP(UK), FADM, Professor of Primary Dental Care, University of Birmingham Dental Hospital, 5 Mill Pool Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7EG, UK.

Objective: To understand the clinical implications of ectopic maxillary canines and inform the patient of the options available for their management.