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Do You Have to Remove Wisdom Teeth Before Invisalign Braces

Wisdom teeth grow at the back of your gums and are usually the last to erupt, typically in an individual’s teenage or young adult years.

Wisdom teeth take up a lot of room in a person’s mouth and often emerge at an angle due to the lack of space. Most anthropologists believe humans have evolved beyond needing wisdom teeth, so some people don’t have them.

Genetics plays a crucial role in if or how wisdom teeth emerge in an individual’s mouth. Often, wisdom teeth don’t push through the gums but can still cause pain. A dentist or orthodontist will take an X-ray to confirm if you have wisdom teeth or not.

What are Invisalign braces?

Invisalign braces are clear aligners developed from computer-generated impressions and images taken from your mouth by your orthodontist and their team to align the position of your teeth.

Clear aligners are effective and often preferred to metal braces. Invisalign braces are popular because:

  • They are comfortable and easy to remove.
  • Clear aligners are discreet and have a nearly invisible look.
  • They whiten teeth during treatment.
  • Maintenance of removable liners is simple.

Can you get Invisalign if you still have wisdom teeth?

Many young adults who want Invisalign wonder if they need to get their wisdom teeth removed before getting these braces.

Orthodontists suggest patients remove wisdom teeth before getting Invisalign treatment. This is because emerging wisdom teeth can disrupt the teeth aligning process. Patients who fail to get their wisdom teeth removed before getting fitted for Invisalign often have to stop treatment and get their wisdom teeth extracted to get the best results after continuing with the Invisalign treatment.

Here are more reasons to extract impacted wisdom teeth before getting Invisalign;

  1. Movement of other teeth – Wisdom teeth are often behind the second molars making it hard to align when wearing Invisalign. They may take longer and cost more when under Invisalign treatment.
  2. Oral hygiene challenges – Keeping impacted teeth clean is challenging as they may collect bacteria in the teeth and gums. One may need to consult an NYC oral surgeon to remove wisdom teeth if an oral disease is detected.
  3. Damage of other teeth – As wisdom teeth emerge, they push against the second molars, damaging them.
  4. Risk of infection – If you get Invisalign braces before removing wisdom teeth, you stand the risk of infection, and your Invisalign treatment may take longer.

Benefits of wisdom teeth removal

Even though you may not need Invisalign braces to straighten your teeth, the benefits of extracting impacted teeth include:

  • Better oral health. Getting your wisdom teeth removed prevents dental decay caused by bacteria accumulating on the far end of your second molars.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth can cause tumors and cysts to develop in the jaw bone. This can lead to the temporomandibular joints or TMJ.
  • Wisdom teeth can cause infection and gum inflammation which can be painful and might require antibiotics.

Can you get Invisalign if you still have wisdom teeth?

Your orthodontists will take x-rays and decide during your full clinical exam whether your wisdom teeth need to come out before you start your treatment. Wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed. Sometimes they are angled so that they can’t be removed or may not interfere with teeth alignment.

Can children get Invisalign braces before wisdom teeth removal?

Most parents are concerned about whether they should invest in Invisalign braces before their child’s wisdom teeth erupt. Because wisdom teeth typically erupt between the age of 17 to 25 years, your child will benefit from Invisalign before this time. Then, once your child’s wisdom teeth do erupt, your orthodontist will most likely recommend removal to preserve your child’s straightened teeth.

Some children do get their wisdom teeth earlier, so you should check to see if your child’s wisdom teeth are erupting but not visible-you will feel the tooth below the gum- before your child gets Invisalign treatment. If the impacted teeth sit just under the surface, it’s advisable to extract them as they will affect the alignment of your child’s dental braces.

Each patient and each situation is different, consult your orthodontist first beforehand.

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