Wisdom Teeth and Orthodontics

Posted On: June 15, 2017

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get asked is “How will wisdom teeth affect orthodontics?”
Many believe that as the wisdom teeth grow in, they generate a force that causes the teeth to get more crooked. For many years the dental community has known that the force of wisdom teeth does not make teeth crooked, but many patients still have this fear.
Wisdom teeth do not make teeth crooked!
Here is what usually happens: Patients have their braces removed around age 14-16, and they are instructed to wear their retainers for life…at least that should be the instruction!! Wisdom teeth begin to grown in around age 17-20. Patients then go off to college, and (surprise, surprise) many stop wearing their retainers. When they come home for a break, their parents notice that their teeth have shifted, and the wisdom teeth become an easy scapegoat.
Many new research studies have come out about the problems associated with wisdom teeth. Many convincingly argue that wisdom teeth need to come out, or there will be future problems. The research is as good as it gets for dental research, and I agree that wisdom teeth should be removed. However, there is no “orthodontic” reason to have them removed. You should discuss wisdom teeth removal with your general dentist.