Success rate and duration of orthodontic treatment for adult patients with palatally impacted maxillary canines

Adrian Becker*, Stella Chaushu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    120 Scopus citations


    This study was undertaken to examine the success rate and the length of orthodontic treatment of impacted maxillary canines in adult patients. A sample of 19 adults (mean age, 28.8 ± 8.6 years; range, 20-47 years), who had been treated for a total of 23 impacted maxillary canines, was compared with a younger control group (mean age, 13.7 ± 1.3 years; range, 12-16 years). The control subjects were chosen for a similar degree of impaction difficulty by carefully matching the positions of the impacted canines in the 3 planes of space. The success rate among the adults was 69.5% compared with 100% among the younger controls. The lower success rate was due to 5 canines that had failed to erupt and 2 canines that had been partially extruded but could not be aligned in the arch. The duration of treating the overall malocclusion of the adults and young subjects did not materially differ. However, the adults showed significant increases in the duration and number of treatment visits required for resolving the canine impaction, in both the simpler and the more difficult cases. When further divided by age, all the failed canines were found in the older (over 30) adult subgroup. It was concluded that the prognosis for successful orthodontic resolution of an impacted canine in an adult is lower than that in a younger patient and that the prognosis worsens with age. Furthermore, when such treatment is undertaken, its successful completion should be expected to take considerably longer.

    Original languageAmerican English
    Pages (from-to)509-514
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Nov 2003


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