The wisdom teeth, which are often the largest teeth in the mouth, have the potential to cause numerous problems if they become impacted. That frequently happens because human jaws have become narrower over time, and there’s not enough room for the wisdom teeth anymore.
One issue that can arise with impacted wisdom teeth is a misaligned smile. Even if you start out with straight teeth to begin with, the wisdom teeth can certainly displace them out of position as they continue to erupt into a jaw that is not big enough to hold them.
If you spent years adhering to your orthodontist’s instructions, you should consult with an oral surgeon to preserve the effects of all of those efforts and that big investment of time and money.
Most patients have an oral surgeon remove their wisdom teeth before age 25, and acting quickly to have your wisdom teeth extracted after completing orthodontic treatment is advisable. Patients who don’t have their wisdom teeth removed in a timely fashion can find that they have to undergo a repeat round of orthodontic treatment to undo the damage caused by the wisdom teeth.
Waiting even a few years can cause your teeth to shift as impacted wisdom teeth continue to try to push through the gums.
The wisdom extraction procedure in younger patients is also simpler because the roots are not as developed and not as thoroughly entrenched in the jaw, and younger patients tend to heal more quickly following wisdom tooth extraction, as well.
Keep in mind that a properly aligned smile has benefits beyond the aesthetic ones. Although many people get orthodontic treatment primarily to improve the smile’s appearance, teeth that are in the right positions are more effective at chewing, and a misaligned smile can also lead to other oral health problems, like increased likelihood of cavities and even temporomandibular joint disorders.
Don’t let your wisdom teeth destroy the efforts of your orthodontist. Contact our dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Drs. Steven Koos, to develop a plan for wisdom tooth extraction to preserve your healthy, attractive smile.