Does Wisdom Teeth Coming in Cause Issues with Orthodontic Treatment?

Does Wisdom Teeth Coming in Cause Issues with Orthodontic Treatment?

Most youngsters get their permanent second molars, between the ages of 11 and 13. By the time these teeth come in, an orthodontist like one from John Redmond Orthodontics can see what issues you may be facing with your smile, including crowding, spacing issues, gaps, or an overbite. This is one of the reasons why teens typically start orthodontic treatment around this time.

However, once a teen has finished braces or Invisalign treatment, they likely still have another milestone on the horizon—they’ll get their third molars, or their wisdom teeth. An individual’s wisdom teeth usually erupt (make an entrance between) between the ages of 17 and 21. Understandably, after investing in a couple of years of orthodontic treatment, you won’t want these final teeth disrupting your orthodontic results. 

This may lead some people to wonder if wisdom teeth should be removed before applying braces. The answer for most braces patients is: not usually. In most circumstances, there is no need to remove wisdom teeth before getting braces; however, certain situations exist when it might be a good idea to have your wisdom teeth taken out before you get your braces. An orthodontist can review these with you and make the appropriate recommendation. 

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars. These usually erupt in an individual’s late teens or early adult years. If they are healthy, they could help the chewing process, but they are not a necessity. Interestingly, not everyone even gets all four of their wisdom teeth, as they are the most commonly missing teeth. When individuals do get them, they may be perfectly fine. However, wisdom teeth often come in crooked, get impacted (stuck underneath the bone), or only partially erupt. When these problems occur, it can lead to tooth decay, infection, and pain.

Will Wisdom Teeth Affect Braces or Your Results? 

It used to be a common thought that when wisdom teeth come in, they create pressure on the surrounding teeth, leading to crowding. So, in some situations, wisdom teeth coming in can cause relapse after orthodontic treatment. Teeth do tend to continue to shift in young adulthood. The bite can change, as well, and this often coincides with the wisdom teeth erupting. This leads patients to worry if it would have been wise to have their wisdom teeth removed before braces. 

However, recent research studies have shown that the wisdom teeth aren’t forceful enough to shift nearby teeth. Extracting wisdom teeth did not relieve interdental pressure or prevent incisor crowding. The changes that occur in the late teens are actually just due to the aging process. As such, the teeth will often move forward a little, and the jaw may have a final growth spurt. This is why patients are advised to wear their retainers after orthodontic treatment! It’s the best way to prevent a relapse of dental issues and maintain your results.

Get Professional Advice from an Orthodontist

Every person is unique when it comes to braces, wisdom teeth, and orthodontic treatment. If you have questions about braces and wisdom teeth and braces, contact a trusted orthodontic practice to schedule a consultation to find out how to get a healthy, beautiful smile.