Patients pursue orthodontic treatment because they want to improve the appearance of their smiles. However, leaving your wisdom teeth in place can sometimes limit your ability to reach this goal. Depending on the age at which you begin orthodontic treatment, wisdom teeth extraction may be recommended if they will cause any issues.
When Wisdom Teeth Should Come Out
Myths aside, there are circumstances that call for wisdom tooth removal before placing braces:
• The current teeth are already blocking the mouth before the wisdom teeth have erupted.
• The teeth are developing in such a way that they will exert pressure on other teeth.
• The teeth are causing discomfort, only grow in part way, or become infected.
• The back molars cannot be effectively cleaned, especially with braces in place, which can lead to bacteria formation and infection.
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, we may recommend extraction before treatment.
Prior to removing asymptomatic wisdom teeth, we will perform an examination and take x-rays to determine the status of wisdom teeth. As braces are a sizable investment, it makes good sense to remove troublesome teeth before proceeding with the braces. This does not hold true if the teeth are causing no problems. Only a thorough evaluation by an experienced professional can determine whether removing back molar teeth that are causing no problem is worth the expense or not.
Schedule an Appointment
As you discuss your initial treatment plan with your orthodontist, ask about recommendations regarding wisdom tooth extraction, and if it will be necessary to help you achieve your desired treatment outcomes. If this procedure is recommended, contact Prestige Oral Surgery to schedule a consultation at 732-297-7000.