Third molars, or wisdom teeth as people usually call them, are a constant cause for concern in the field of orthodontics. Parents and teenagers come to our office worried their teeth will shift when the teeth erupt, ruining their beautiful smile; some worry that waiting to remove wisdom teeth after braces is waiting too much.
You needn’t worry. Sure, wisdom teeth can result in some complications, just not the ones most people fear. Many patients undergoing orthodontic treatment throughout the nation have had to put up with the following situation: you work hard, you follow your orthodontist’s recommendations, you don’t miss any follow-ups after you had your braces installed, you avoid foods that may damage them, and then your wisdom teeth erupt after you completed your treatment with braces.
Should you worry that these additional teeth will ruin your hard-earned straight smile? What if you are still considering orthodontic treatment? Should you wait until your wisdom teeth have come out or have braces installed in your mouth? As you can see, wisdom teeth after braces are a serious preoccupation in the mind of many patients.
Some people are fortunate enough to have plenty of room in their mouths for these molars. For others, the teeth may partially erupt or become impacted because they lack space for them. In this case, a specialist will recommend wisdom teeth removal if it helps avoid any negative effects of impacted teeth on your oral health.
Let’s go ahead and review what these molars are, why they’re so complicated, and all we can do to clear most questions surrounding them. Even though we expect this information to clear your doubts, you should still consult with a professional to verify what will work best in your case as your treatment progresses.
What Are Wisdom Teeth and Their Problems?
Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth that ever erupt in our mouths. Usually, people will have four wisdom teeth (two on your upper jaw and two on your lower jaw. Problems arise when patients don’t have enough space for the eruption of these molars, but not necessarily due to the molars themselves.
Wisdom teeth are not evil; they’re just misunderstood.
If there’s not enough space for your wisdom teeth to erupt, they’ll stay caught below your gumline and create several complications for your dental health. To avoid all this, oral health professionals recommend their extraction.
It’s not true, however, that the eruption of third molars causes tooth crowding. Certainly, there are many cases where you see patients with severe crowding and whose wisdom teeth may slightly shift the position of their teeth. Still, there’s no clear relationship or causality between these two events.
This 2014 study from Italy clearly concludes that there is no evidence suggesting that wisdom teeth can cause significant dental crowding.
What Are the Symptoms of Infected and Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Here’s the thing. Impacted wisdom teeth may not show any symptoms; the real complications come from any resulting infections and damage to other teeth. For some, wisdom teeth come in painlessly. But others know they are teething wisdom teeth because they experience pain, have problems opening their jaws, and have swollen gums. Besides, these complications usually lead to tooth decay.
These infections have some common symptoms, such as:
- Red or inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums
- Jaw pain (which some people mistake for TMJ/TMD)
- Bad breath
- Swelling around your jaw (please be very careful about this one!)
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your dentist immediately; furthermore, if there’s constant pain and swelling, you should seek out emergency healthcare services to receive a proper assessment and care.
We recommend that any patient who feels they have problems related to wisdom teeth after braces should schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon or orthodontist for a consultation.
When Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary?
The symptoms mentioned above are clear indicators that you should seek out professional help. Impacted wisdom teeth are problematic, and if you have impacted teeth, you might need to be placed under general anesthesia to have them removed.
The process will be painless and routinary, but you will feel the movement coming from the work going on in your mouth. Please note that, just as with any other invasive oral surgery, there are risks you should consider; always consult with a professional before you commit to any treatment.
How long is the recovery time after wisdom teeth removal? Well, if you want to heal from the extraction of your wisdom teeth after braces, it is important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions to ensure your mouth heals properly.
You need to be very attentive to what you eat and even how you swallow your spit during the recovery process, but successfully sticking to your orthodontist’s instructions will ensure a faster recovery. You can contact our orthodontists for wisdom teeth removal after braces.
Can Wisdom Teeth Shift Your Teeth After Braces?
No. The short answer here is no. As we’ve discussed before, wisdom teeth are not causing anyone’s teeth to shift in position or result in overcrowding.
However, there are a couple of things you should watch out for. Teenagers who complete their orthodontic treatment with braces or any other appliance will still require retainers to keep their hard-earned results. Teeth position may shift with age, too, so adults need to be careful; finally, direct trauma to your teeth may change their alignment.
All those factors that usually happen later in life make people doubtful of orthodontic treatment. If you also consider that third molars won’t appear until your late teens or early adulthood, it becomes easier to understand why so many patients fear their teeth will shift with the eruption of wisdom teeth after braces treatments.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests children go to an orthodontist by age 7. Chances are that if you follow this recommendation, your child will begin and complete their orthodontic care long before their wisdom teeth come out.
Wisdom teeth after braces are a possibility because they are the last permanent teeth to erupt and typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Dental health professionals will only recommend the removal of these molars when there isn’t enough space for their eruption.
Most orthodontic work should happen during a patient’s early teens, years before wisdom teeth generally appear. But while you’re undergoing treatment, your orthodontist can check for your wisdom teeth coming in and can make adjustments or schedule you to have your wisdom teeth removed during treatment.
Patients currently undergoing specialized orthodontic care with the best Johns Creek orthodontist, Dr. Nima, will also receive a professional assessment to verify if it is necessary to have these molars removed.
Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Sort Themselves Out?
According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, nine out of 10 patients will experience an issue with at least one wisdom tooth.
Wisdom teeth after braces can be an uncomfortable reality, but working closely with your orthodontist can result in better preparation for that stage. It can also significantly reduce the severity of the problems resulting from the eruption of your wisdom teeth.
Never prolong treatment because impacted wisdom teeth can result in severe complications such as considerable damage to adjacent teeth, encourage tooth decay or premature tooth loss, gum tissue damage, periodontal disease, or result in the formation of dangerous cysts and abscesses.
What Do the Experts Say About Wisdom Teeth After Braces?
Orthodontist Dr. Nima Hajibaik will help shed some light on this matter.
“I know how hard my patients work to perfect their smiles during their orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Nima. “Some patients put in 2 years of orthodontic treatment, and when they realize their wisdom teeth are erupting, they worry it will ruin all that work. In rare cases, this can be true, so you must continue to maintain a relationship with your orthodontist, even if you think the treatment has been completed. This way, when your wisdom teeth begin to erupt, we can determine when and if they should be removed.”
Help From the Best Orthodontist in Roswell
If you have any questions about how your wisdom teeth after braces could impact your orthodontic care, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nima today. Our team is thrilled to help people achieve their desired smiles, and we will do everything we can to explain treatment details. Besides, we offer complimentary consultations for first-time patients.
Patients always do better when they fully understand what the treatment plan involves. Get in touch with us to clear any doubts you have, and start your journey towards a beautiful smile.