If you or your teenager is planning on braces, then you may be concerned about wisdom teeth eruption. Wisdom teeth often start to develop or break through around the time most people wear braces. Therefore, many people have concerns that they could undo all the hard work of the procedure. Here are some questions and answers about wisdom teeth in general and whether they will affect your orthodontic procedures.
When and How Do Wisdom Teeth Erupt?
Wisdom teeth are known as the third permanent molar. They tend to show up on x-rays in the mid to late teenage years but erupt slowly. In some people, they don't erupt at all, or only some of them erupt.
What Affects Do Wisdom Teeth Have on Other Teeth?
For most people, wisdom teeth have little to no effect on other teeth. Unlike popular belief, wisdom teeth don't exert much pressure and crowding, especially in the front of the mouth. Teeth often shift due to age regardless of what the wisdom teeth do. However, if the wisdom teeth are impacted or coming in sideways, they could become infected or damage the second molar.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Need Removal?
In the past, dentists often removed wisdom teeth because it was thought this would prevent future problems. Now, most dentists nowadays don't advocate removing wisdom teeth unless they have issues. The dentist may want to remove them if they crash into other teeth or are coming in sideways. They will also need removal if the tissue around them becomes infected.
How Do Wisdom Teeth Affect Braces?
Often, wisdom teeth erupt around the time most people finish with their braces. This can cause crowding concerns. However, wisdom teeth will likely have no impact on your other teeth. You do not need them to be removed before or after the procedure unless something is wrong. Your orthodontist can also work with them if they have already erupted. Not wearing your retainer causes more problems with teeth shifting than an erupting wisdom tooth.
The bottom line is your orthodontist will tell you if you or your teenager will benefit from wisdom teeth removal overall. Wisdom teeth issues and braces are two different things and one doesn't necessarily impact the other. So don't wait if you or your child needs braces. The longer you put it off, the more problems you may have in the future. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible.