Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed before starting orthodontic treatment?
Impacted wisdom teeth usually will need to be surgically removed, and many patients opt for this procedure during their late teen years when they may also be undergoing orthodontic treatment. They may wonder if the wisdom tooth extraction needs to take place prior to orthodontic treatment.
A qualified oral surgeon can discuss your specific case in detail, but most patients will not necessarily need to have their third molars removed prior to beginning orthodontic treatment. Even in cases of crowding, removing impacted wisdom teeth may not create more room in the smile to allow the other teeth to shift into their correct positions.
A patient’s age may also influence the decision on timing of wisdom tooth extraction. For a patient who embarks on orthodontic treatment in his or her pre-teens, it may make more sense to have the wisdom teeth removed after the braces come off. However, in older patients who still have their third molars, the orthodontist or oral surgeon may recommend extraction before treatment.
It’s recommended that patients who choose wisdom tooth extraction should have the procedure by the time they turn 25 years old. The roots of the wisdom teeth are shorter in younger patients, so it’s easier to remove them. Younger patients also tend to recover more quickly after the procedure.
If you choose to wait to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you shouldn’t let too much time elapse between the end of your orthodontic treatment and the wisdom tooth extraction procedure. Impacted third molars still will attempt to emerge, and in that process, they can push the other teeth out of alignment. Ask your surgeon for advice on scheduling your extraction after treatment.
Therefore, if you have impacted wisdom teeth and you don’t have them removed, all of the outcomes of your orthodontic treatment may be reversed. In fact, you may even need to undergo a second round of orthodontic treatment to undo that damage.
Consult with your orthodontist and a qualified specialist in oral surgery to determine the most appropriate timing for wisdom tooth removal in your case.
To learn more about wisdom tooth removal, or to schedule a professional consultation, contact Stonebriar Facial & Oral Surgery at 214-618-3070 today.