Wisdom Teeth & Orthodontic Treatment Planning

Orthodontic treatment requires planning. To understand the process, orthodontists have spent hours training and perfecting specialized techniques to master the biomechanics rules at the core of orthodontic results.

In fact, biomechanics understands the forces of physics and their impact on the human body. To do so, orthodontists project a healthy and beautiful smile and use customized mechanical devices specially made for each patient.

However, sometimes things come in the way. For example, patients’ poor compliance with the specialist recommendations or differences in the patient’s body’s response to mechanical stress might impact the projected planning.

Also, sometimes, patients have concerns about how wisdom teeth affect orthodontic treatment outcomes. Although wisdom teeth seem to be something coming in the way that could affect orthodontic planning, they might not be as bad as we think.

This article addresses some frequent questions patients have about wisdom teeth and the challenges of Sturbridge orthodontic treatment planning.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Some questions we have from patients include, “When do wisdom teeth come in?” Or “Should I get Braces After My Wisdom Teeth come in?” However, before answering those questions, we first need to know what wisdom and impacted wisdom teeth are.

Wisdom teeth, as their name implies, develop at a more mature age than the rest of the teeth, which is associated with sound judgment. However, in a professional setting, they are known as third molars.

Third molars erupt following a pattern to the back of the second molars. Therefore, they are at the rear extreme of the jaw. Some people develop all four wisdom teeth, others develop some of them, and in some cases, patients don’t have any wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth are useless. You can’t bite or chew with your wisdom teeth, which could become a problem in many cases. In addition, sometimes, patients don’t have enough space in their jaws for wisdom teeth.

When there is not enough room in the jaw for wisdom teeth to erupt, they might sprout partially, angled, or just never erupt and remain below the gums. These are what we know as impacted wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth usually sprout between ages 17 and 25 during orthodontic treatment or before a patient considers getting into it, placing a significant concern regarding extraction.

The good news is that regularly, you don´t need to have your wisdom teeth removed before or during orthodontic treatment. This is because wisdom teeth do not exert enough strain to produce a misalignment over the rest of the teeth. In fact, an orthodontist could also cement brackets on wisdom teeth.

However, the not-that-good news is that wisdom teeth might develop impacted. Depending on the specialist evaluation, a patient might require extraction to avoid an infection or damage to other teeth.  

For instance, impacted wisdom teeth might sprout partially and angled, producing a perfect space for food to get trapped and difficult to remove mechanically by brushing.

In some cases, the gum might partially cover a wisdom tooth from above, and food might get stuck between the tooth and the gum. In both circumstances, tooth decay, gum disease, or an infection might occur that could spread, damaging a second molar.

A wisdom tooth might sprout, producing a cyst or an infection, and wisdom teeth might remain below the gums, impacting the lower part of a second molar to the pulp, and damaging a fully functional tooth.

However, the extraction of wisdom should follow a pathology associated with it. This is because the extraction of wisdom teeth might require a surgical procedure with some risks. For example, during an extraction, there is a slight possibility of damaging the ID and lingual nerves

Therefore, before considering the extraction of wisdom teeth, a patient must pass an evaluation by a professional.  

Can I Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed During Orthodontic Treatment?

Yes, you can. However, as previously stated, you must seek a specialist to perform an evaluation that includes getting a panoramic X-ray to determine the suitability and need to get an extraction.

Patients often ask how long does wisdom teeth removal take? The removal of wisdom teeth takes around 45 minutes to an hour, and it requires the administration of local and sometimes general anesthetics. 

Also, a common question from the previous one is, how long does it take for wisdom teeth to heal? In most cases, patients experience lesser pain and discomfort after the third day after surgery. 

However, you can expect a full recovery two to three weeks after surgery; it all depends on a patient following the medical prescription and oral surgeon’s recommendations. 

Can Wisdom Teeth Shift My Teeth?

No, wisdom teeth themselves cannot shift your teeth. However, there are circumstances where wisdom teeth do not sprout and remain below the gums producing a cyst that could debilitate the jaw bone.

A weak jaw bone might be prone to a fracture that could affect the position of surrounding teeth. Also, wisdom teeth might contaminate a second molar with caries, resulting in losing not a single but two dental pieces.     

Although these events rarely shift other teeth, they harm orthodontic treatment outcomes. Finally, in many cases, shifting is attributable to aging, but patients might relate teeth shifting to wisdom teeth.

For these reasons, we recommend an evaluation from a specialist to determine whether wisdom teeth affect orthodontic treatment.

What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

The general consensus about a diet after wisdom teeth extraction is to avoid chewing with the back part of the mouth to the fullest possible. Consequently, to minimize this possibility, you can try eating blended foods, soups, or easy-to-byte foods like mashed potatoes for the next 24 hours after a surgical procedure.

Contact Your Sturbridge Orthodontist

Our caring staff will guide you through the entire orthodontic treatment process, following a procedure that will help you understand the complexity of your malocclusion, including an exhaustive evaluation of your wisdom teeth. We invite you to set an appointment and have a smile that rocks!