Should I have my wisdom teeth removed before orthodontic treatment?

oral surgery ChicagoWisdom tooth extraction is one of the most commonly performed oral surgery procedures, and most patients will have impacted wisdom teeth removed before age 25. There are other factors that can influence the timing of wisdom tooth extraction, such as planned orthodontic treatment.

Each patient is unique, and your orthodontist may tell you whether you should have your wisdom teeth removed prior to treatment or if you can wait until afterward.  Some even prefer them to be extracted during treatment.

You can also schedule an evaluation with an oral surgeon who can determine whether wisdom tooth removal is necessary and can advise on the timing of the procedure. In fact, orthodontists and oral surgeons frequently communicate with each other about patients’ cases.

Although each patient should be evaluated individually to determine the most appropriate timing of wisdom tooth extraction, there are some common factors that can influence that decision.

If it appears that the wisdom teeth may interfere with the orthodontic treatment or cause problems immediately after treatment, the patient may be advised to have the wisdom teeth removed in advance.

The patient’s age may also be a consideration. For example, wisdom teeth extraction may be recommended prior to orthodontics in patients who are in their late teens or early twenties, while younger patients may be able to wait for the procedure.

Patients who choose to wait until after orthodontic treatment is complete to have impacted wisdom teeth removed should not let too much time lapse before scheduling the oral surgery.

Impacted wisdom teeth will continue to attempt to push through the gums which can, in turn, undo the results of your orthodontic treatment. After successfully straightening their smiles, the last thing patients want to do is go back for a second round of braces to fix the damage done by erupting or impacted wisdom teeth.

The decision on timing of wisdom tooth extraction in conjunction with orthodontic treatment is made on a case-by-case basis, and the orthodontist and surgeon can collaborate on a treatment plan that best meets your needs.