Wisdom Teeth and the Challenges of Dental Braces

Wisdom Teeth

The reasoning behind the use of dental braces is quite simple. Any reputable orthodontist, like our own Dr. Ann Reopelle, would recommend that a patient gets braces or other appliances to correct problems with the position of their teeth and jaws.

Any patient can face several orthodontic conditions ranging from mild overcrowding to severe misalignment of their jaws. We focus on solving those issues with braces by applying force over each tooth to push or pull them into the correct position.

The orthodontist will individually bond brackets to each tooth and connect them with an archwire to ensure they realign. Most patients report feeling uncomfortable during the first adjustments, but the effectiveness of engaging in orthodontic treatment is evident and well worth the effort. Patients who complete their treatment using braces are rewarded with a beautiful and healthy smile.

However, considering that the treatment may prolong for a long time, it is understandable that patients want to know and control as much as possible to make the treatment more efficient and shorter in length.

Many patients worry about their wisdom teeth and how they may undo the effort put into wearing your dental braces.

The short answer is that you do not have to worry about wisdom teeth undoing the results obtained through orthodontic treatment.

There are valid reasons to remove wisdom teeth, but the fear of developing orthodontic problems after using braces because of your molars’ eruption is mostly unfounded.

Why Some Fear They Need a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Orthodontists across the nation recommend that a child engages in treatment as soon as possible. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), parents should take their children to an orthodontist around age 7.

A young patient receiving age-appropriate treatment can benefit from reducing the length of later procedures, and their smile can develop without added risk to their dental health.

If a patient needs dental braces, they would ideally start between ages 8 and 14.

One concern in any parents’ minds can be the eruption of wisdom teeth. These are the last molars to appear in anyone’s mouth. Because they will finally show up around ages 17 and 21, it is understandable that patients wonder if they will affect their previous orthodontic treatment.

Many fear that the eruption of your wisdom teeth will move a surrounding tooth, causing all of them to bunch-up. Nevertheless, we want to reassure you this process is not a reason for overcrowding.

Should I Get a Wisdom Teeth Removal Before My Treatment?

Not really.

The reasons behind your orthodontist’s recommendations to wear dental braces are to maintain and improve your dental health. Well-aligned teeth remain cleaner because the patient can brush them and floss properly.

While not always capable of moving adjacent teeth, these unwise molars may create several other complications that could be solved with their extraction. Maybe there isn’t sufficient space in your mouth to accommodate the new set of molars, even if you have been using orthodontic appliances.

In such cases, your molars may find it impossible to erupt. The wisest thing to do (pun totally intended) would be to surgically remove those molars.

Patients may experience considerable pain, as any impacted tooth can result in the development of abscesses. Molars unable to erupt can create irregularities that collect food particles and harmful bacteria. These factors could contribute to additional risk factors leading towards tooth decay.

So yes, the eruption of these molars can significantly complicate your dental health, just not in the way most people fear.

There are rare occasions where a patient does have sufficient space for their wisdom teeth. And an increasingly common situation includes people who never have these issues because their wisdom teeth never erupt.

However, if your orthodontist counsels extraction of your wisdom teeth, it is because they want to help you avoid all the problems we mentioned before. An oral surgeon will perform the procedure, and you will be able to carry on without further complications.

So… Dental Braces for My Orthodontic Treatment, Right?

Absolutely.

Any patient who uses braces to realign their dental structures will benefit from avoiding increased risks of problems like:

  • Plaque build-up
  • Collection of harmful bacteria around each tooth
  • Suffering from cavities
  • Developing pulp infections
  • Gum disease
  • And even losing a tooth

Dental braces are not just about getting a pretty smile. The purpose of using these orthodontic appliances is to improve your oral health. Although, the cosmetic benefits are not bad at all. According to this study, patients completing their orthodontic treatment have a better quality-of-life and self-esteem.

The reasons why you might need your wisdom teeth removed are similar. We want to help avoid tooth decay and infections, but it’s not about preventing the undoing of all the hard work you do with the orthodontist.

Orthodontists will usually worry more about relapse after your primary treatment. The way we fix that is by using a retainer. Still, this relapse cannot be attributed to your wisdom teeth erupting after you’ve completed the treatment.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear relationship between the eruption of these third molars and the crowding of your frontal incisors.

Remember that the eruption of wisdom teeth is not a cause for overcrowding or crooked teeth.

Will You Recommend a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

We highly recommend you visit your trusted orthodontist. If you are here in Roanoke, we’d be thrilled to help you out. Still, what matters is that your go to a professional who can help you make the right choice.

As we mentioned, not everyone suffers from these same issues. You may not even have any third molars waiting to erupt at the worst possible moment.

X-Rays can help visualize Wisdom Teeth

Your orthodontist might require a set of x-rays to discard such a scenario and plan accordingly. Besides, this will really depend on your age. A patient in their early teens will seldom need such a procedure. However, pay attention to these signs as they may indicate you have problems with your wisdom teeth:

Signs that You Have Problems With Your Wisdom Teeth

Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Pain and Tenderness. Yeah, this is discomfort dialed up to 11. Your entire mouth might feel sore and under constant pressure. If you cannot point to the source of such discomfort, it may be related to your pesky molars.
  • Inflammation. You may notice that your gums look red and swollen at the back of your mouth. Such signs could indicate an infection or abscess. Contact your orthodontist as soon as you can!
  • Headaches. Recurrent headaches are common among patients who need these molar extractions.

Get the Orthodontic Care You Need

Visit your orthodontist as soon as you can. If you get early orthodontic treatment, you may not need to wear dental braces for so long later on. Once you complete your treatment, you will be happy to know that wisdom teeth are not going to ruin all that hard work.

We have an office located in Roanoke, Virginia, so if you live in this or any of the neighboring cities, we will be happy to welcome you and begin work to achieve that healthy smile you want. Follow this link to set your next appointment online. We’ll be glad to have you here for a consultation.

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