Planning, we surely have heard and experienced it. Planning is around us in any process guided by rules or a strategy to achieve a goal. But let’s leave this aside for a second. For now, we just want to clarify that having a plan helps attain the desired result.
Orthodontic treatment is not exempt from planning. In fact, orthodontists endure specific training to understand biomechanics, which refers to the effects that forces have on biological systems, in this case, teeth, jaws, and in general, the orofacial structure (mouth and face).
In short, orthodontists’ specialized training allow them to develop customized treatments with highly effective results. Additionally, orthodontists can deal with different types of malocclusions (upper and lower teeth misalignments) and evaluate and provide a prognosis which is the time required for a functional improvement (teeth alignment) to occur.
However, sometimes external factors come in the way during orthodontic treatment. These factors can affect a plan. For instance, the functionality of an orthodontic system depends on the body’s response to the exertion of strain, bone density, and the inflammatory process that influences teeth displacement affecting treatment length.
Also, when dealing with influential factors, orthodontic braces patients worry about a sometimes-unexpected visitor, the Wisdom Teeth. Suddenly, an intriguing question arises. Do Wisdom Teeth affect orthodontic treatment?
Accordingly, we also wanted to add a relatively new element. What happens if a patient needs to have Wisdom Teeth removed during orthodontic treatment? This article encompasses these questions with complementary information that will help patients recognize that Wisdom Teeth are not evil but need a comprehensive approach to deal with them.
Can Wisdom Teeth Shift My Teeth?
This question shouldn’t be hard to answer. However, patients surfing the web might encounter conflicting information about it. In an attempt to demystify this concern, we try to evaluate positions on this topic.
Some orthodontic professionals adhere to the idea that Wisdom Teeth cause tooth crowding. Incidentally, those that allegedly declare no relation between newly sprouted Wisdom Teeth and tooth crowding also tend to inform that Wisdom Teeth cause a slight crowding. This might be a little confusing.
The argument for Wisdom Teeth not affecting other teeth’s position is that Wisdom Teeth exert too little force to make other teeth move and grow only when there is enough space to sprout. They also inform there is no need to remove Wisdom Teeth before starting orthodontic treatment.
What Can Wisdom Teeth Do to Your Smile?
But, as patients, it is plausible to ask, what about impacted Wisdom Teeth? If you don’t know what impacted Wisdom Teeth is, we invite you to keep reading this educational article, as we will revise this topic shortly.
Back to the discussion, some specialists favor Wisdom Teeth removal even if there are no infections. They refer to the fact that Wisdom Teeth can potentially damage or shift other teeth. Once again, we will keep this statement for further review: “potentially damage” and discuss it below.
Additionally, specialists favoring Wisdom Teeth removal argue it is better to extract teeth before orthodontic treatment begins, dismissing the possibility that these teeth, once they sprout, undo treatments advance.
Once we have detailed both positions, we want to point out these findings with other data. For instance, young kids might not have yet developed Wisdom Teeth, which should not prevent them from starting orthodontic treatment.
Can You Get Braces With Wisdom Teeth?
The orthodontic treatment produces better and faster results when patients are younger. But there are cases that, during orthodontic treatment, Wisdom Teeth sprouts, partially favoring food accumulation and potential infections.
Also, sometimes a patient has completed a treatment, and Wisdom Teeth sprouts partially or stay inside the gums in an angled position reaching the second molar.
We recommend Wisdom Teeth extraction in the first example, even during orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, extracting a Wisdom Tooth is possible during this time.
In the second example, an X-ray might help reveal the position of a Wisdom Tooth. However, if it shows potential damage to the second molar, it might require extraction to prevent losing a fully functional denture piece and collateral damage to an orthodontic treatment result.
Finally, even if Wisdom Teeth do not produce sufficient strain to shift teeth, we have demonstrated and insist on this, a dentist or an oral surgeon could remove Wisdom Teeth during Orthodontic treatment.
Also, it is important to know teeth shifting might occur as we age, which does not relate to Wisdom Teeth. Also, orthodontists recommend wearing a retainer after braces treatment.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
We have reserved two major elements mentioned above for this part, “impacted Wisdom Teeth” and “potentially damage other teeth.” So let’s start with impacted Wisdom Teeth.
First, Wisdom Teeth can develop in different forms:
- In some cases, patients have room for another dental piece, and Wisdom Teeth erupt straight;
- There are cases in which there is little space and only a part of the teeth sprouts above the gums while the other remains below the gums and;
- A more extreme situation occurs when there is definitely no space for a Wisdom Tooth to erupt, and it remains entirely below the surface of the gums.
For all these cases, the clinical definition is “impacted Wisdom Teeth.”
Also, impacted teeth might develop or even sprout angled. This means they are not straight, and the occlusal portion of the tooth (contact surface) is not facing its corresponding counterpart (tooth) in the opposite jaw. There are three impacted teeth angle possibilities:
- Towards the front: The occlusal area partially facing towards the second molar;
- Towards the back: The occlusal area partially facing the back of the mouth and;
- Stagnant in the gums: In this case, Wisdom Teeth remain below the gums. It usually faces the second molar reaching its pulp (the innermost layer that contains nerves and blood vessels).
Impacted Wisdom Teeth angled toward the second molar might present a problem. Here we deal with the notion that Wisdom Teeth might “potentially damage other teeth.”
Impacted Wisdom Tooth’s malposition exerts strain on a fully functional second molar. In some cases, this might lead to erosion of the pulp that contains the roots and nerves and might end in tooth loss.
Can I Get Wisdom Teeth Removed With Braces?
Yes, patients can have their Wisdom Teeth removed during orthodontic treatment. However, as previously stated, patients do not need to have Wisdom Teeth extracted before entering into orthodontic treatment.
Yet, again, an orthodontist might recommend an extraction only if needed for a treatment’s success and if any of the following circumstances occur:
A partially erupted Wisdom Tooth leaves intricate spaces in which food particles accumulate, making them hard to clean. This increases the possibility of pericoronitis, an infectious condition affecting the soft tissue that partially covers the tooth crown. This condition also affects the immune system.
Again, partially erupted Wisdom Teeth make cleaning a complicated task that can end in dental caries. Statistically, 15% of Wisdom Teeth extractions derive from dental caries.
A tooth’s pulp is a mass of connective tissue containing the tooth’s nerves. The tooth depends on the pulp to survive. An infected pulp (necrosis) might result in contamination spreading to surrounding areas through the pulp’s blood vessels. Pericoronitis and dental caries might reach the pulp, causing an infection;
A fluid sac (dentigerous cyst) might sometimes form in the soft tissue covering an impacted Wisdom Tooth. This sac can get infected, cause pain and exert strain on other teeth provoking teeth misalignments.
An Impacted Wisdom tooth might develop in the maxillary sinus and produce chronic sinusitis.
What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Diet after Wisdom Teeth extraction should be limited to liquids or soft foods for a few days. We compiled a list of foods you can eat:
- scrambled eggs;
- mashed potatoes.
Contact Us For Braces And Wisdom Teeth Removal at Perkins Orthodontics
We recommend avoiding alcoholic beverages during pain medication and antibiotics. After meals, patients should brush their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush having special care not to touch the gums adjacent to the extraction.