BACKGROUND. Impacted maxillary canines occur in 2% of the population. Extraction of a deciduous canine is a possible preventive measure and is most successful in patients under 13 years of age. Later on, complex treatment is needed. Our aim was to collect epidemiological data regarding impacted maxillary canines in the Slovenian population. Emphasis was on the subject’s age at the beginning of orthodontic treatment. The final objective was to find out whether referred patients had deciduous canines removed by a general practitioner and if there was a correlation between the patient’s age and the severity of displacement.
METHODS. Data from 35 patients (21 girls, 14 boys) with impacted maxillary canines was collected. Their dental casts and radiographic images were included in the study. Two age groups were formed: up to 13 years and older than 13 years. We recorded the position of impacted maxillary canines, as well as the presence of a deciduous canine. Among other data, canine angulation to the midline was measured from orthopantomographic images. RESULTS. The mean age at the start of treatment was 15.4 years. 20 (57%) patients were older than 13 years. 22 (63%) patients still had deciduous canines. Angulation to the midline exceeded 15° significantly more frequently in patients over 13 years of age.
CONCLUSIONS. Our research showed that the majority of patients start treatment too late and that they usually still have deciduous canines. However, early intervention is vital, because impacted maxillary canines tend to shift medially in time, further complicating treatment and inducing root resorptions of adjacent teeth.