Patients pursue braces or Invisalign because they want to improve the appearance of their smiles.   However, leaving your wisdom teeth in place can limit your ability to reach this goal.

Depending on the age at which you begin orthodontic treatment, wisdom teeth extractionmay be recommended. This procedure is not indicated for very young children or pre-teens, but patients between the ages of 15 and 25 are encouraged to have their wisdom teeth removed. By a patient’s mid-twenties, the roots of the wisdom teeth are longer and more entrenched in the bone, making them more difficult to remove.

Younger patients also tend to heal more quickly following wisdom teeth extraction.

If you choose not to have your wisdom teeth removed prior to getting braces, you should seriously consider having them extracted soon after you complete your active treatment. Leaving the wisdom teeth in place can undo all of the outcomes achieved by your orthodontic treatment. The wisdom teeth may knock the other teeth out of alignment as they continue to attempt to erupt. If this happens, you may find yourself in braces yet again to undo that damage.

Your orthodontist can make a referral to an oral surgeon if you wish to have your wisdom teeth extracted before initiating orthodontic treatment. An oral surgeon may also be involved in your case if you need to have other teeth removed in cases of crowding when jaws are too narrow to accommodate all of the teeth.

Other benefits are associated with having your wisdom teeth removed beyond the aesthetic advantages. Wisdom tooth extraction offers a layer of protection against infection, as it is extremely difficult to keep the vicinity of the third molars free of bacteria with normal brushing and flossing.

Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth can develop problems like cysts, abscesses and tumors, which can have a negative effect on your oral health.

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 our experienced and dedicated team at Surgical Arts for a consultation. Call 817-552-3223 to learn more.