Is It ‘Wise’ to Get Braces While Still Having Wisdom Teeth?
October 10, 2016
Choosing when to get braces can be difficult decision. Considering every mouth develops differently, it can difficult to know if an earlier age is appropriate to begin treatment. Some parents come in with their kids and wonder if wisdom teeth can have an impact on orthodontic treatment and, if so, what actions to take. Here’s info on wisdom teeth and if/how they can affect orthodontics.
Wisdom Teeth/Impacted Molars
Wisdom teeth are the last set of permanent teeth to come in, or rupture the gums. There often isn’t enough room for them to comfortably come in and, as a result, they can come in sideways or only partially break the gums, known as “impacted.” A single wisdom tooth may come in, but it’s possible to have as many as four, a full set. According to WebMD, wisdom teeth generally come in between the ages of 17 and 21, but it remains very possible for them to come in earlier or later. Between 15 and 25 is the likely age range one would have issues or pain related to wisdom teeth. After 25 you’re not likely to have complications.
How do Wisdom Teeth Affect Braces?
Between the ages of 10 and 20 is a popular time to complete an orthodontic treatment and to consider wisdom tooth extraction. This can lead to wondering whether or not to pull wisdom teeth first, or to wait until after braces. But what happens if wisdom teeth need to be extracted during an orthodontic treatment? Will wisdom teeth affect tooth correction? Both good questions. Wisdom teeth, because of the way they’re situated at the back of the gums, don’t exert enough pressure to cause teeth at the front of the mouth to shift. Wisdom teeth can also be extracted during treatment, though it’s less common.
Deciding whether to proceed with braces prior to wisdom tooth extraction, or after, really depends on your age and opinions from an orthodontist and dentist. Since this extra set of molars don’t often erupt until the later teens and early twenties, braces are largely unaffected. For those that choose to get braces later on, who have not had wisdom teeth extracted, an orthodontist may suggest extraction before proceeding with treatment as a precaution.
What’s My Next Step?
Your best next step is to talk to your orthodontist and, depending on your age, to check for signs and symptoms of wisdom teeth. Here are the common signs and symptoms of wisdom teeth.
- Pain in the back of the mouth, behind the molars
- See the beginnings of teeth growing behind your back molars
- Constant pain (not the case for all)
- Pain or jaw stiffness
- Pain coming from the gums at an awkward angle against the cheek, or against the top of the mouth
- An infected or swelling flap of gum forming over an impacted molar
Don’t Hesitate. Talk to Your Dentist & Orthodontist
As we said before, best practice is to talk both your dentist and orthodontist about braces and wisdom teeth. Making a plan ahead of time will ease the processes of both. Give us a call today with any questions or concerns regarding braces and wisdom teeth and we’ll be glad to provide more information or to set up a free initial consultation.