What Happens When Wisdom Teeth Arrive While You're Wearing Braces?

Dentist Blog

When preparing your mouth for braces, your orthodontist considers the relevance of all your teeth—including teeth that may not have arrived just yet. Wisdom teeth typically erupt from your late teens to your early twenties, but it's not unheard of for wisdom teeth to arrive later. What happens when wisdom teeth erupt during orthodontic treatment?

Out of Nowhere

It's not as though wisdom teeth mysteriously appear out of nowhere. Their development starts beneath the gums, just like any other tooth. The trouble with wisdom teeth is that they may not erupt properly, and they can remain submerged in the gums, or may only partially erupt—making them impacted. However, wisdom teeth might not necessarily have any impact on the success of your orthodontic treatment.

Submerged Wisdom Teeth

Your orthodontist will confirm the existence of your submerged wisdom teeth with an x-ray. This may also give them an approximate idea of whether the teeth are likely to erupt, and ideally a rough timeline too. The length of your dental arch will be taken into account. Your dental arch is the curved ridge of bone and gingival tissues that hold your teeth. You have both an upper and a lower dental arch.

The Length of Your Dental Arch

If it's thought that your dental arch will be of sufficient length to accommodate your existing teeth and the eruption of your wisdom teeth, no further action may be needed. Upon its eruption, the wisdom teeth may have no significant effect on the rest of your teeth—which are now secured with the archwire and brackets of your braces, and are being progressively moved into alignment. If the wisdom teeth should erupt at an irregular angle causing them to apply pressure to the neighboring molar, they're likely to be removed, regardless of the length of your dental arch. 

Quick Removal

When there's insufficient space for your existing teeth and your wisdom teeth in your dental arch, the emergence of your wisdom teeth will adversely affect the success of your braces. In this scenario, your wisdom teeth will be removed as soon as it's practical to do so, which can occur during your orthodontic treatment. There's simply not enough space in your dental arch for your teeth (now being repositioned by your braces) and the soon-to-arrive wisdom teeth, so these wisdom teeth must be dealt with. 

Ideally, wisdom teeth won't bother you while you're undergoing orthodontic treatment. But if they do make an appearance, not to worry—your orthodontist will definitely have a contingency plan.


30 August 2022

Understanding Dental Problems

Do you have "bad teeth"? I do. Ever since I was a kid, every checkup turns up a number of issues ranging from cavities to dental fractures. It has always been frustrating to keep my smile in decent shape, which is one of the reasons I started focusing on understanding different dental problems. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I visited the doctor, so I began focusing on learning as much as I could. I wanted to create this blog all about dentistry so that other people could find out what to expect when they head to the dentist. Check it out!