Impacted Wisdom Teeth and Orthodontics: Myths and Truths

Many people fear wisdom teeth and the oral surgery that comes with them. In reality, treatment is not always necessary, and when it is, it is not as complicated as you may think. Keep reading to learn exactly what they are and how you can still receive orthodontic treatment with them.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth refer to situations where one or more third molars can’t erupt fully (partially impacted) or erupt at all (fully impacted) and are either stuck under the gumline or growing into the nearest tooth.

Your third molars develop late in your teens and early twenties, and it is around this time that you will start noticing pressure and pain in your jaw and teeth if the molars become impacted.

Fortunately, not everyone will suffer from impacted wisdom teeth. There are many cases where patients don’t need wisdom teeth removal because the molars managed to erupt entirely without affecting the patient’s oral health. Additionally, some smaller amount of people don’t develop wisdom teeth at all, so they avoid the issue altogether.

There are four ways in which a wisdom tooth can become impacted. Depending on the severity of your case, orthodontists may recommend a wisdom tooth extraction.

Mesial Impaction

The most common type of impacted wisdom teeth is medial impaction. Here, the 3rd molar angles towards the front of the mouth, pushing the adjacent teeth. Usually, the adult teeth will erupt partially. Depending on how much the tooth is angling forward, your orthodontist in San Ramon may recommend wisdom teeth removal.

Distal Impaction

You can think of distal impaction as the complete opposite of mesial impaction, they are quite rare, and they angle towards the back of the mouth. Impacted teeth under this category can erupt completely if the tilt angle is small. In these circumstances, orthodontists opt to regularly check your teeth for the next few years to see if any problems present themselves instead of recommending a removal straight away.

The more severe the angle is, the more likely you are to have impacted teeth. If it doesn’t erupt correctly, you’ll most likely need the extraction to avoid oral and orthodontic issues.

Vertical Impaction

Vertical impaction is pretty straightforward. As the name implies, your tooth is completely vertical, and many times it is the easiest to deal with as it is very likely that it will erupt without any difficulties.

In other cases, your molar may create pressure against the nearby teeth and jawbone and thus requires an extraction. Luckily, the intervention is straightforward and only calls for local anesthetic.

Horizontal Impaction

Once again, the name pretty much spoils the type of impaction. Horizontal impaction refers to cases where the late-developing molars are complete on their side and are trapped under your gumline.

It is generally the most painful type of impaction as it almost always presses against the closest molar. Given that many times orthodontists need to remove small amounts of the jaw bone, stronger types of sedation are in place.

When Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth to Be Extracted?

For a long time, many people, including orthodontists, believed that wisdom teeth had enough strength to cause crooked teeth by pushing the whole row of teeth from the back. This made dental specialists opt to remove wisdom teeth every time. Nowadays, specialists have figured out that the third molars don’t represent such danger and wait for evidence before making a decision.

As mentioned, you don’t always need permanent teeth extraction if you have impacted wisdom teeth. Your orthodontist will have to take x-rays before deciding completely if extraction is in place.

You may need your wisdom teeth extracted if they pose a threat to your oral hygiene and health. Wisdom teeth can be particularly difficult to clean due to the angle and amount of eruption they have.

Having gum flap over a part of your teeth allows food particles and bacteria to accumulate, and having them at an angle only makes it more difficult for the patient to clean with a regular toothbrush. If the problem is left untreated, you run the risk of suffering from tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and more.

Can I Get Braces With Wisdom Teeth?

Yes, you can get Metal braces in San Ramon with wisdom teeth. Depending on your age, how orthodontists deal with braces while having wisdom teeth is slightly different in every scenario, but you can still go through the orthodontic treatment without any problem.

Usually, orthodontic patients will go through braces orthodontic treatment before wisdom teeth start to erupt. If they eventually develop impacted wisdom teeth, there is no risk of damaging their results and getting misaligned teeth again.

If your wisdom teeth have already developed but don’t pose a threat to your health, you can start your treatment with braces without any type of change. On the other hand, even if your teeth began to develop and became impacted, you could still go through orthodontic treatment.

Great Professionals for Great Results

Here at Bigman Orthodontics, we are ready to guide you through your clear aligners treatment in San Ramon with or without your wisdom teeth developing. Schedule your appointment with us here, and you’ll receive the best treatment possible in no time.