An alternative to traditional metal braces, Invisalign offers orthodontic patients a way to correct tooth and bite alignment concerns. Instead of brackets and wires, clear aligners improve your smile — and oral health — in a much more discreet manner. They’re practically invisible in your mouth, much more comfortable, and removable.
Invisalign can be an ideal treatment for many people, including those with veneers, crowns, dental bridges, and other dental restorations. Even people with missing teeth can benefit from Invisalign. But what about wisdom teeth? Can they affect your ability to get Invisalign treatment? Here’s what you need to know.
What Exactly Are Wisdom Teeth?
Your “wisdom teeth” are your third molars. Their name comes from the fact that you don’t get them until later in your teenage years, although they begin developing between the ages of 7 and 10. For some adults, they don’t erupt until as late as 25.
According to anthropologists, wisdom teeth used to play an essential role in the lives of our ancestors. Long ago, the human diet consisted of many coarse, harder-to-chew foods. The third set of molars helped to break those foods down. As humans evolved, the jaw began to narrow. Additionally, the advent of cooking made foods softer and easier to eat.
Today, scientists classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs. While most people develop them, they don’t serve an actual purpose. In fact, many people experience significant oral health issues during or after the eruption of their third molars and have these teeth surgically removed.
Can I Get Invisalign With Wisdom Teeth?
Yes, it is possible to get Invisalign with wisdom teeth. However, candidacy is generally on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if your wisdom teeth haven’t erupted yet, or have only partially erupted, you may need to wait until after they have fully emerged or you have undergone wisdom tooth extraction to start treatment.
Why might you need to wait? If you don’t have enough room at the back of your jaw for your wisdom teeth to develop or erupt normally, they could become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth may push against your second molars, forcing them out of alignment. They may also cause pain, infections, or damage to your other teeth. Should any of this happen, it could undo the results of your Invisalign aligners.
It might be possible to get Invisalign without waiting if your wisdom teeth haven’t erupted yet. It depends on your situation, though. Should your wisdom teeth begin to emerge, you could have them extracted during treatment. However, your treatment could take longer and cost more.
What if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing any issues? Whether they’re asymptomatic or they’ve already fully erupted, you may be able to get Invisalign without having your third molars extracted first.
The Importance of an Orthodontic Consultation
No matter what your situation with your wisdom teeth is, you should schedule an orthodontic consultation to determine the best course of action. Orthodontists like Dr. Hansen have years of experience treating patients successfully with Invisalign. During your consultation, they’ll assess your situation and help you better understand your options, including whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth extracted before you get Invisalign. They’ll create a customized plan that will help ensure the best results possible from your treatment.
Find Out If Invisalign Is Right for You at Hansen Orthodontics
Are you ready to find out if Invisalign is right for you? Contact Hansen Orthodontics to schedule your FREE consultation today!