Article: Volume 46 Number 5 Page 488 - May 2019

  Dent Update 2019; 46: 488-495  Read article

Orthodontics:  Clinical Audit: The Importance of Early Detection and Referral of Impacted Maxillary Canines

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Abstract: A retrospective clinical audit was conducted to analyse referrals for impacted maxillary canines received by the Orthodontic Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn. The primary aim of the audit was to determine if patients with impacted maxillary canines were referred at the appropriate age of 12 or under, as required by the Royal College of Surgeons of England guidelines and, secondly, to determine if appropriate radiographs were taken in patients aged 10 and over, as recommended by British Orthodontic Society Radiography guidelines. The results indicate that there is a significant shortfall in meeting the 100% standards set for both clinical guidelines.

Clinical relevance: This article highlights the importance of timely referral of suspected impacted maxillary canines and explores the potential consequences to both patient and practitioner of failing to refer patients by the appropriate age.

Author notes: Oluwatoyin Aiyegbusi, BDS, MFDS RCS(Glasg), DCT2 Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Restorative and Special Care Dentistry at Royal Preston Hospital, (email: and Sukbir Nandra, BDS MFDS RCS(Eng), DCT2 Restorative and Paediatric Dentistry, Bristol Dental Hospital, UK.

Objective: To understand clinical and radiographic signs associated with impacted maxillary canines and thereby know when to refer patients for specialist orthodontic opinion.


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