Wisdom Teeth & Orthodontics

Temecula Facial Oral Surgeon, Dmitry Y. Tsvetov, DDS, MD

Third Molars Interference

Presence of wisdom teeth (the third molars) can adversely affect the other teeth before, during and after the orthodontic treatment. Let us look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: Issue with retained wisdom teeth

Retained wisdom teeth can interfere with proper eruption of second molar teeth into the mouth, as we can see in the example below. If this is not noticed early on (before the roots of the second molar have fully developed), correcting the problem will be very, very difficult. In this example we see how the upper wisdom teeth are preventing eruption of upper second molars. The unfortunate thing is that this was noted only AFTER the patient has gone through orthodontic treatment.
Wisdom Teeth xray

Example 2: Issue with the bite

Here is another example, where the lower right wisdom tooth is preventing the lower right second molar from coming in. As a result, the opposing upper second molar has no “vertical stop” and continues to drift down lower, causing even larger issues with the bite.
Wisdom Teeth xray

Example 3: Orthodontic treatment with wisdom teeth retained

After the orthodontic treatment, retained wisdom teeth have a potential to cause decay on adjacent teeth, as we see in the example below; In this case both wisdom teeth AND the second molars (decayed) had to be removed. This could have been avoided if the wisdom teeth were removed earlier.
Wisdom Teeth xray

Wisdom Teeth & Orthodontics Summary

It is important to have your wisdom teeth evaluated and monitored closely, especially when you are considering early orthodontic treatment. This is so that they don’t cause damage to or prevent normal eruption and function of the adjacent teeth. In vast majority of cases, it is recommended to have your wisdom teeth removed prophylactically, before potential complications have a chance to develop.