Do Wisdom Teeth cause crowding of your front teeth?
How many times have you heard this? Did you know this all started after a paper was written on by an orthodontist over 50 years ago?
In 1961, orthodontist Dr. Leroy Vego, published an article, “A Longitudinal Study of Mandibular Arch Perimeter” which examined the role of wisdom teeth on lower front tooth crowding. This study was run over six years with patients from ages 13 to 19. He reported that there was a significantly greater degree of crowding in patients with wisdom teeth. Dr. Vego concluded: “that the erupting lower third molar can exert a force on approximating teeth.”
From this statement, it was decided that lower wisdom teeth “push” the teeth in front of them as they come into the mouth, causing the front teeth to crowd. Consequently, general dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons recommended the extraction of wisdom teeth to prevent the recurrence of crowding after orthodontic treatment.
Later research disproves Dr Vego’s theory that wisdom teeth exert enough pressure to affect the movement of anterior teeth. Later studies tracking patients for 25 years determined that aging was also a major factor whether a patient went through orthodontic treatment or not and that teeth drift forward throughout life naturally, along with other factors. Tooth-size, tooth-shape, and original tooth-position also play a significant role in crowding.
Today, the premise no longer exists for the extraction of wisdom teeth simply to minimize future crowding of front teeth. However, timing of the removal of suspect wisdom teeth, especially impacted wisdom teeth that don’t have room to erupt properly, is still recommended no later than late teens through early 20’s. Wisdom teeth can easily cause future dental problems.
What problems can occur with NOT removing impacted/retained wisdom teeth?
- Bone and soft tissue defects behind the second molars
- Root resorption of second molars
- Decay due to inability to brush and floss properly
- Crowding or shifting of posterior teeth affecting orthodontic results
- An infection (periocornitis) that occurs around partially erupted lower third molars
- Cysts and tumors around impacted third molars
Consequently is it generally recommended wisdom teeth be extracted before these problems develop.
At Spark Orthodontics in York, PA, we encourage the extraction of wisdom teeth, if indicated, prior to college. As teens complete final growth, jaw bones become increasingly more dense. This may result in higher post-operative pain following wisdom tooth removal, especially after the roots of the third molars are fully developed. Typically, after the age of 25, wisdom teeth are not extracted and simply monitored by your general dentist with routine periodic x-rays to address any cause for concern.
York, PA orthodontists monitor third molar development throughout treatment and will make recommendations when appropriate based on individual circumstances. Feel free to contact our York, PA orthodontic office or leave a comment below regarding more information about the extraction of wisdom teeth. We look forward to your questions, comments, or feedback.
At our orthodontic office in York, PA we are pleased to provide you with this helpful information and to offer you the finest orthodontic care for you and your family. For more information, please contact our office for a complimentary consultation.
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Specializing In Invisalign, Clear Ceramic Braces, Metal Braces In York, Bethlehem, Schuylkill Haven, Temple, Schnecksville, & Lancaster, PA
Dr. Jason Hartman, our award-winning PA orthodontist offers the most advanced braces for children, teens and adults, including Invisalign, clear ceramic braces, metal braces and orthodontic treatment. With nine convenient orthodontic offices located in York, PA, Reading, PA, Bethlehem, PA, Schnecksville, PA, Schuylkill Haven, PA, Lancaster, PA, Hazleton, PA, Danville, PA and Freeland, PA, there is sure to be an office conveniently located near you. Call us today for a complimentary consultation for braces at any of our nine orthodontic offices in PA!
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