Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed Before I Get Braces?

Woman with a tooth pain

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 your braces were removed. 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? 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 additional teeth. For others, the teeth may partially erupt or become impacted because there is a lack of space for them. In this case, the wisdom teeth should be extracted to avoid an impact on the rest of the teeth. Wisdom teeth after braces can push all your teeth into a new position that results in orthodontic complications you were trying to correct.

Can Wisdom Teeth mess up your teeth after braces?

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. The majority of people have them removed because there generally isn’t enough room for them in the mouth. Some people have all four wisdom teeth erupt in rapid succession, others only have two erupt in their entire lifetime, and even other patients are lucky enough to never deal with the eruption of wisdom teeth.

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. The most common problem is lack of space, which can cause them to erupt at unusual angles, to crowd the other teeth, or to become impacted. An impacted tooth will remain in the jawbone and can potentially cause complications. Wisdom teeth after braces can cause overcrowding, a serious problem making it harder to maintain proper dental hygiene and exposing your teeth to plaque buildup and the potential development of cavities and infections.

Most orthodontic work is done in the early teen 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. For patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment in their late teens or early twenties, wisdom teeth need to be assessed carefully to see if it is necessary to have them removed. Wisdom teeth after braces can be an uncomfortable reality, but working closely with your orthodontist can result in better preparation for that stage and it can significantly reduce the severity of the problems resulting from the eruption of your wisdom teeth.

How can you know if your wisdom teeth are coming in?

For some, it happens painlessly. But others know they are teething wisdom teeth because they experience pain, have problems opening their jaws, and have swollen gums. If you experience any of these problems from wisdom teeth after braces, you should schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon for a consultation. These symptoms could be the result of impacted wisdom teeth, according to our friends at Dental Studio of Pasadena. If the teeth are impacted, you might need to be placed under general anesthesia to have them removed.

For patients whose wisdom teeth erupt fully, but cause crowding or pain, without impaction, they can be removed under local anesthesia. The process will be painless but you will feel the movement coming from the work being done in your mouth. If you want to heal from the extraction of your wisdom teeth after braces it is important to carefully follow all instructions as given by the doctor 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.

What do the experts say?

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.”

If you have any questions about how your wisdom teeth after braces could impact your orthodontic care, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nima today.