Wisdom teeth are an occurrence in life that many children, teens, and even adults hope never happens to them. Sadly, only less than 35% of people will avoid it completely. For the rest of us, it’s time to start planning for orthodontic treatment in Vista. Fortunately, the necessary treatments and procedures are not as disruptive as you may think.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Orthodontists determine you have impacted wisdom teeth if your third molars start developing and don’t have enough space to erupt completely. Fortunately for some, not everyone will develop wisdom teeth. While many people develop four third molars when they are between 17 and 25 years old, there are many others that only develop two molars or don’t develop any at all.
Impacted wisdom teeth are either partially impacted or fully impacted. Fully impacted means that the molar is completely under the gum tissue, while partially impacted means that the tooth itself partially erupted. Both can represent many complications for the patient’s oral health. If needed, the most common orthodontic treatment is to perform oral surgery.
Not every single impacted wisdom tooth needs extraction, and not every impacted wisdom tooth is the same. Here is a brief description of every type of impacted wisdom tooth.
Mesial impaction, also known as angular impaction, is the most common type of impacted wisdom teeth. The tooth is partially impacted and is at an angle pointing towards the mouth’s opening. As it’s partially impacted and bacteria and food particles can easily accumulate in the gum flap, it increases the possibility of cavities, gum diseases, and infections.
Before even considering wisdom teeth removal, orthodontists will monitor the tooth to see if it causes any dental issues for the patient. If the tooth doesn’t represent any danger to the patient’s dental health, then orthodontic treatment is not necessary.
On the other hand, Distal impaction is the least common type of impacted wisdom teeth and, opposite to mesial impaction, distal impaction teeth angle towards the back of the patient’s mouth. They can be either fully or partially impacted, and their extraction will depend on the angle of the tooth and how impacted it is.
Vertical impacting refers to wisdom teeth that have the correct angle to erupt but can’t break the gum tissue at all. They are fully impacted, and similarly to other types of impacted wisdom teeth, they don’t always require wisdom tooth extraction. In this situation, orthodontists will ask their patients to come back every once in a while to check for any problems that may develop.
Horizontal impaction, as the name implies, occurs when the wisdom tooth is completely perpendicular to the gum line and the other teeth. It is completely impacted, and it is the most painful type of impacted tooth. The wisdom tooth will try to erupt, but because of its orientation, it will push into the roots of the adjacent teeth. This is where the severe pain comes from. The only way to avoid more damage and stop the pain is to remove the wisdom tooth completely.
Do Patients Need to Get Their Impacted Teeth Removed Before Braces?
No, patients who are about to go through some type of orthodontic treatment do not need wisdom teeth removal before they start the treatment. A common misconception about wisdom teeth is that once they start developing in your late teens, they have enough strength to move your whole row of teeth out of position, giving you a crooked smile. In reality, they don’t generate the force necessary to push any teeth out of position. It is because of this that they are many times partially or fully impacted. If there is not enough space, they simply can’t erupt properly.
What Happens if a Patient Has Braces and Her Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In?
What happens next after a patient with braces has their wisdom teeth come in will depend highly on how the teeth themselves develop. As mentioned before, many patients don’t need wisdom teeth extraction, even if they are partially or fully impacted. Your orthodontist will analyze the situation and determine whether a surgical procedure is the best option for you.
If a patient does require a tooth extraction while they are going through treatment with braces, then there is nothing to worry about. Oral surgeons can remove problematic teeth without interrupting any ongoing or finished treatment. Orthodontic patients can rest knowing that their results are safe and will stay the same as long as they use their retainers.
Get the Best Treatment for the Whole Family
Here at The Smile Patio Orthodontics, we’ll do everything we can to ensure you and your family have the most pain-free experience possible when dealing with impacted wisdom teeth. Just contact us here to schedule your first appointment with us.