Many people rely on orthodontic treatment to correct issues such as misaligned teeth and jaws. This treatment is important because it promotes healthy teeth and gums and reduces the likelihood of infection or dietary complications.
One of the most common orthodontic treatments is braces. Braces are typically equipped on teenagers or patients in their early 20s. Coincidentally, this is around the time when wisdom teeth are likely to spring up.
It is not uncommon for patients to express concern over how wisdom teeth will affect orthodontic treatment. Will wisdom teeth reverse the effects of tooth realignment? Will they interfere with how braces should be equipped? This article will answer those questions.
Understanding Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth get their name from their nature: they erupt later in life than the other teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, growing after the second set of molars has already emerged. In some cases, wisdom teeth don't affect patients and even come in handy for chewing.
However, in many other cases wisdom teeth result in an overcrowded mouth, crooked teeth, or pain and discomfort. The pain occurs when the teeth only partially emerge or get stuck in the jawbone.
Do They Affect Braces?
On the surface, it makes sense why patients may be concerned about wisdom teeth affecting their orthodontic treatment. Indeed, an overcrowded mouth or crooked teeth may reverse the effects of braces that you have worn for many months. You may also be concerned about how you'll have your braces equipped if you have wisdom teeth emerging from the back of your mouth.
The good news is that wisdom teeth don't affect your mouth after orthodontic treatment is completed. Indeed, recent evidence suggests that wisdom teeth merge with insufficient force to cause teeth crowding. As a result, wisdom teeth are unlikely to reverse the effects of orthodontic treatment.
There are, however, cases where wisdom teeth can cause other oral complications. These complications, such as pain, cavities, and gum infections, can affect a smooth orthodontic treatment process. For example, if wisdom teeth emerge when you're wearing braces and the teeth cause gum disease or cavities, these conditions may affect your braces over time.
In such cases, it may be necessary to have the wisdom teeth extracted so as to ensure proper oral health during orthodontic treatment. It is not always necessary to wait for your wisdom teeth to emerge before having braces equipped.
In fact, the emergence of wisdom teeth shouldn't affect your decision to seek orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will typically monitor whether any upcoming wisdom teeth are likely to affect your braces after they're equipped in the mouth.