Do Wisdom Teeth Disrupt Orthodontic Treatment?

With your new braces in place, your teeth will be gently manoeuvred into the ideal alignment. Just how long this takes will depend on your personal circumstances, but you can expect to be wearing them for around one to three years. But your new braces aren't necessarily intended to reposition all your teeth. The realignment of wisdom teeth isn't generally included as part of an orthodontic treatment plan, but will those redundant extra molars actually get in the way of the process?

Erupted or Impacted

Sometimes a person's third molars (wisdom teeth) can disrupt the progress of braces. Sometimes they don't have any influence whatsoever. This partially depends on whether the wisdom teeth have erupted without any problem or if they've semi-erupted and are partially covered by a flap of gingival tissue. In many cases, vital, fully-erupted wisdom teeth can be left as is, although they will not be connected to the rest of your teeth via your braces.

Erupted Wisdom Teeth

Erupted, healthy wisdom teeth may ultimately prove to be an obstacle to your orthodontic treatment, although this might not be immediately evident. The movement of your teeth is fairly predictable, but sometimes wisdom teeth can become problematic during your orthodontic treatment, even though this wasn't initially predicted. It's possible for wisdom teeth to be extracted during your orthodontic treatment without interfering with your orthodontic progress. If this is necessary, your orthodontist will refer you back to your dentist for extraction.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth are commonly removed prior to receiving braces, but again, this is determined on a case-by-case basis. When might it be needed? Consider that a second molar next to an impacted wisdom tooth will need to be aligned during your treatment, and removal of the impacted third molar creates space to allow easier realignment of the teeth directly next to an impacted wisdom tooth.

Overcrowding

Since overcrowding of the jaw is often a contributing factor for orthodontic misalignment, the removal of a wisdom tooth can create valuable real estate. For this reason, a patient with overcrowding of the jaw who requires braces will generally have their wisdom teeth removed, regardless of whether it's impacted or not.

If it's not immediately essential to remove an erupted, intact wisdom tooth to facilitate your orthodontic treatment, it will generally be left in place, to spare you from the effort of tooth extraction. Extraction might be required during your orthodontic treatment, and impacted wisdom teeth will usually be removed prior to treatment. Look for a professional who offers braces in your area for more information. 

About Me

How to Improve Your Dental Health Today

My name is Tod and I love teeth. I am not a dentist but ever since I was a boy, I have been fascinated by what is in my mouth. I remember when I was little, I would spend hours looking into the mirror, trying to see what my teeth looked like. When I was 7-years old, I went to a dental summer camp and learnt even more about how bacteria and acids can cause teeth to decay. In my teens, I was fitted with braces and I learnt lots of cool stuff about brace care. Now, I am grown up, but I still have my childhood passion for dentistry and I look forward to every checkup.

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