When adults and teenagers finally decide to straighten their teeth, a question they often ask themselves is how the wisdom teeth will be included in the process. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth grow in the back of the mouth and usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21.
These teeth have no functional purpose as they are not used for chewing. However, this does not mean that they will cause problems.
Many myths often revolve around how third molars affect the teeth straightening process. In this in-depth guide, we’ll help you separate fact from fiction.
5 Common Wisdom Teeth Scenarios
Dentists have speculated that evolutionary processes have changed our jaws. As our diets changed, our foods became easier to chew, and dental care and hygiene improved, our jaws became smaller. For this reason, most people often face the following scenarios:
- Wisdom teeth come out perfectly.
- Wisdom teeth have a flap of gum covering them.
- They come out at an angle, that is to say there is not enough room in the mouth to accommodate them.
- They remain hidden under the surface of the gum.
- Wisdom teeth do not come out.
When to remove wisdom teeth before orthodontic treatments
Whether your orthodontist wears invisible aligners or orthodontic appliances to straighten your teeth, he will always consider your wisdom teeth before starting orthodontic treatment. In cases where your jawbone has enough room for your wisdom teeth, your orthodontist will recommend that you leave your teeth in place.
However, your orthodontist may recommend the extraction of wisdom teeth in cases where:
- One or more of your wisdom teeth are trapping food and causing cheek and gum infections.
- Your wisdom teeth catch food and cause second molars to decay. Additionally, trapped food could cause cavities in your wisdom teeth.
- His wisdom teeth are extremely decayed and cannot be restored.
- You have a cyst or infection near one or more of your wisdom teeth.
- Your wisdom teeth hurt.
- Your wisdom tooth is impacted or grows at an angle towards your second molars.
If your orthodontist recommends having your wisdom teeth removed prior to orthodontic treatment, understanding what to expect can ease anxiety about the whole procedure.
Many dentists perform the wisdom tooth extraction procedure in their offices. However, in cases where patients have a deeply impacted wisdom tooth, the dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon.
Depending on the complexity of the procedure, your dentist may use a sedative or local anesthetic. If your dentist uses a sedative, you will sleep through the entire wisdom tooth removal procedure.
When using local numbing medication, the dentist will apply a numbing gel to your gums before giving an injection around each extracted wisdom tooth. You will stay fully awake. However, although you may feel a sensation of movement and pressure on your gums, you will not feel any pain.
When extracting a wisdom tooth, your dentist will make a small incision at the gum line to expose both the wisdom tooth and the bone. Then, he will remove the wisdom teeth whole or in pieces.
Your dentist will then disinfect the site and close the wound. You may need to put gauze over the wound to stop the bleeding.
What happens if wisdom teeth grow in after teeth straightening?
When parents consider straightening their children’s teeth, they often wonder if the future development of wisdom teeth will affect orthodontic treatment. The future growth of wisdom teeth does not affect the straightening of the teeth.
You don’t have to wait for your wisdom teeth to grow in to start your orthodontic treatment. A large number of patients receiving orthodontics for the first time complete tooth straightening procedures before their wisdom teeth grow in. Third molars, however, pose no risk to tooth alignment after straightening.
Wisdom teeth generally exert very little force. For this reason, they will not get rid of their teeth.
Wisdom teeth only break if your jawbone has enough room for them. If the jaw does not have enough space, the third molars will break partially or not at all.
If your wisdom teeth need to be removed in the future, the procedure will not interrupt the work done by your orthodontist. If your teeth move after working with equipment like Straight Teeth Invisible, it’s usually the result of a natural change; however, this process can be avoided by wearing a retainer.