Impacted wisdom teeth can wreck the results of years of orthodontic treatment as they continue to try to erupt when there’s not enough room in the jaw for them. Therefore, if you’ve invested time and money in braces, you’ll likely want to have your wisdom teeth removed, in part, to avoid a second round of orthodontics. The timing of the wisdom tooth extraction can be performed either before or after orthodontic treatment is complete, and your treatment team, including your orthodontist and oral surgeon, can give you guidance on the best approach in your case.
If you do decide to wait to have your wisdom teeth removed until after your orthodontic treatment is complete, don’t delay the extraction any longer than is recommended by your providers. Age is a relevant factor in wisdom tooth extraction, as the roots grow longer and become more solidified in the jaw, making it more challenging for the oral surgeon to remove the teeth.
In addition to compromising the proper alignment of your smile, impacted wisdom teeth pose other risks for patients’ oral health as well. Impacted wisdom teeth are susceptible to other problems like cysts, tumors, abscesses and infections. They can also cause significant discomfort as they try to push through the gums.
Whether you have your wisdom teeth extracted before or after orthodontic treatment, the procedure is a relatively straightforward one. It is typically completed in the surgeon’s office, using local anesthesia and sedation, and it takes a few hours. Patients need to arrange for a responsible adult to escort them home and remain with them until the sedation wears off, but generally they’re able to resume their normal routines within the next couple of days when following post-operative recommendations to prevent complications like dry sockets.
If you are considering orthodontic treatment and have impacted wisdom teeth, you should think about having them extracted, either before or after you get your braces. For more specific information, such as the recommended timing of the extraction, contact us at Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery!