Wisdom teeth and orthodontic treatment

Par Dr. Normand Bach 16/07/2018

Just about any orthodontist in the world will tell you that the ideal age for a first visit is around 8 years
old. Of course, everyone’s different, and the estimate may vary from one case to another. Basically,
treatment with braces may not be as effective if the patient has already stopped growing. And if the
patient still has baby teeth or if certain teeth haven’t come in yet, it’s obviously more difficult for the
specialist to predict beforehand how the teeth will react.

What about adults whose wisdom teeth haven’t come in yet? For example, if wisdom teeth come in
during or after an Invisalign treatment, could this affect the alignment of the patient’s teeth?
These
are very good questions, and you’ll find the answers to them in this article!

A little background

Wisdom teeth were very useful to our prehistoric ancestors. Considering that their diet consisted primarily of raw meat, it was helpful for them to have strong teeth like this third set of molars. However,over the centuries, people’s diets have changed drastically, and the human body has adapted to accommodate different needs. As our diet is now made up of foods that are much easier to chew and our jaws have become increasingly narrow, these third molars have proven to be less and less useful. This explains why, in many cases, wisdom teeth come in much later than they once did, and in some cases, don’t come in at all.

Why extract wisdom teeth?

At one time, orthodontists almost systematically recommended that wisdom teeth be extracted. These days, specialists are more reluctant to recommend extraction unless leaving the teeth in could lead to complications, such as infections or discomfort. You should be aware that some people’s wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning that they break through the gum, but don’t come in all the way because of a lack of space in the person’s mouth. These are the kinds of cases in which there’s a greater risk of infection and discomfort.

Wisdom teeth and my orthodontic treatment

Unless your wisdom teeth are positioned in such a way as to pose an increased risk of infection, as mentioned above, your orthodontist may come to the conclusion that it isn’t necessary to extract them,even if you’re receiving an Invisalign treatment for adults. Of course, the specialist will be sure to monitor the alignment of your teeth after the treatment is completed. If there’s any change in the condition of your wisdom teeth, your orthodontist will know the best strategy to follow. Every case is unique and needs to be treated in its own way.

In the end, if you experience the symptoms associated with your wisdom teeth coming in, whether before, during or after treatment with braces, the best person to go to for guidance is your
orthodontist, of course!

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