Orthodontics – Canine in the palate



Q Where is the upper canine?

A This tooth forms high up in the mouth to the side of the nose.

Q What is a canine in the palate?

A The upper canine can fail to grow into its proper place in the mouth. It can often end up in the palate behind the front teeth.

Q Why has this occurred?

A The canine forms high up under the eye (“eye-tooth”). As it grows down it can lose its way!

Q Will the tooth need to be removed?

A The canine will only need to be removed if it is way off course or damaging the other teeth.

Q How will the tooth be treated?

A Firstly the tooth needs to be exposed (uncovered). This usually involves a trip to the hospital. Once exposed the tooth can then be brought into line with a fixed ‘traintrack’ brace. This is complicated and can take up to two years.

Q Will I still need a retainer?

A When the fixed brace is removed a retainer will be constructed which will need to be worn at night.

Q How long will the retainer need to be in place?

A The retainer will normally be worn at night for a year. Without the retainer the canine can move back a little bit.

Q Will there be any permanent damage?

A No damage will occur due to moving the tooth. However, poor cleaning and too many fizzy drinks can cause permanent decay marks around the fixings of the ‘traintrack’ brace. The importance of thorough brushing and the use of a fluoride mouthwash cannot be emphasised enough.

Q Is the treatment permanent, or will I need additional future treatment?

A Once the canine has settled into its proper place the result will be stable.

A-Z of treatments


Amalgam fillings

Once a standard treatment, amalgam silver coloured fillings have now been replaced by composites to white ones.


Can improve colour of teeth by up to 70% but not stains caused by the antibiotic tetracycline or the white patches caused by demineralisation – need to use micro-abrasion. The latest treatment is laser whitening, in which a hydrogen peroxide solutions is painted onto the patients teeth and subjected to a laser that speeds up the procedure.


Tooth coloured material is stuck. Tooth is etched using a week acid to create grooves to enable the material, such as veneers (see below) to bond.


These are coverings that replace the top part of the tooth. This treatment is used when the teeth are severely decayed, factured or for cosmetic reasons. They are usually made of porcelain, with metal or glass bases.

Endodontics (root canal therapy)

This is the removal of dying or dead nerves which are replaced with a filling material, which can give a tooth an extra ten years of life.


Used to replaced lost teeth but could only be used if there was enough bone to screw in the implant made of titanium. Now however surgeons are able to graft the patients own bone into the mouth to create a base.

Light curing

This is used to harden fillings, to whiten or bleach teeth.


The process of aligning the teeth using fixed braces and in difficult cases may also involve surgery. The latest braces are ceramic.

Scaling and polishing

3-6 monthly appointments with hygenist to get rid of plaque and stains. Now use ultrasonic descalers and the air-abrader
that uses an abrasive powder to clean the teeth.


A thin layer of porcelain is bonded to the tooth. Disadvantages is that they can easily chip or even fall off and may cause damage to teeth.