By the time the second molars come in at around the age of 11 to 13, an orthodontist can see what issues the teen or preteen may be facing with their smile. This may include an overbite, crowding, gaps, and spacing issues. Therefore, if orthodontic treatment is recommended, it typically starts around this time.
However, the teen is likely waiting for their third molars to come in. The third molars are referred to as wisdom teeth, and they usually erupt (make an entrance) between the ages of 17 and 21. Understandably, you’ll want to consider how the eruption of wisdom teeth will affect the orthodontic treatment you’ve undergone. After investing time and money into orthodontic treatment, you don’t want these permanent wisdom teeth disrupting your orthodontic results.
What About Getting Braces if Wisdom Teeth Haven’t Erupted?
Some people wonder if wisdom teeth should be removed before braces are applied. In most orthodontic patients, there is no need to remove wisdom teeth before getting braces. However, in certain cases, it might be a good idea for individuals to have their wisdom teeth taken out before they get braces. An experienced and knowledgeable orthodontist, can review these with you and make the appropriate recommendation
If every orthodontic patient had to have their wisdom teeth removed before braces or invisible aligners are applied, they’d have to wait several years to start treatment since the wisdom teeth don’t erupt in until ages 17 to 21. However, it is usually more beneficial to have orthodontic treatment with braces or invisible aligners treatment in the teen years. Teenagers are still growing, so an orthodontist can move the teeth and jaw into their proper places more easily and efficiently.
Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
In the past, people often had their wisdom teeth removed before they erupted, even if no complications were present. It was believed that this would help an individual’s oral health in the future. Yet, there is a growing debate about the prophylactic extraction of wisdom teeth.
Now, many dental professionals recommend keeping your wisdom teeth intact if they’re not causing any problems. Your dentist can monitor how your wisdom teeth are developing, and refer you to an oral surgeon to have them extracted, if necessary. A dental professional may recommend removal of wisdom teeth if:
- There is no room in the oral cavity for them to erupt
- The soft tissue in the area of a wisdom tooth becomes infected or swollen
- The wisdom tooth is causing pain
- They are difficult for an individual to keep clean and are prone to cavities or gum disease
- The impacted wisdom teeth cause headaches or sinus pain
- Benign tumors or cysts develop in the jaw
If these issues crop up during your orthodontic treatment with braces or invisible aligners, you can have your wisdom teeth removed. You would have a thorough evaluation to determine whether extracting your wisdom teeth is the best course of action. If it is, an orthodontic professional can coordinate with your dentist and oral surgeon. They will work together to make sure your wisdom teeth can be removed without compromising your orthodontic treatment.