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How Can I Straighten My Wisdom Tooth/ Teeth?

Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on November 5, 2014

Braces and Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are commonly the last adult teeth to erupt. They are also well-known for not erupting and lying dormant for several years. They can be impacted, meaning they can be positioned at an angle instead of being positioned ‘straight’. The x-rays below shows two lower wisdom teeth being impacted horizontally. In these cases, it is very unlikely they will erupt into function.

Impacted lower wisdom teeth

However, if the wisdom tooth is able to be brought into function, we can fit braces to straighten the wisdom tooth.

Dr Kyi has treated a number of cases where we have fitted braces to move a displaced or impacted wisdom tooth into a functional tooth. Some patients may have lost other molar teeth and now the wisdom tooth – if it could be straightened – would be a very useful functional tooth.

The case below shows orthodontic treatment with fixed braces straightening an impacted upper wisdom tooth and bringing the wisdom tooth into function.

Braces and Wisdom Teeth. Impacted upper wisdom tooth

Impacted upper wisdom tooth

Braces and Wisdom Teeth. Upper wisdom tooth now straight and a ‘useful’ functional tooth

Upper wisdom tooth now straight and a ‘useful’ functional tooth

There has been much research into the area of wisdom teeth and guidelines are produced by the Royal College of Surgeons regarding the need for wisdom teeth removal. At one time, wisdom teeth were routinely removed electively, even though they may not have caused any symptoms.

Wisdom teeth being positioned so far back in the mouth do not provide much in the way of creating space to correct any crowding in the anterior region of the teeth. As we get older, teeth continuously move, which is why we sometimes notice teeth becoming more crowded as we get older. It used to be thought that wisdom teeth caused this movement and crowding, however, this movement of teeth will occur with or without wisdom teeth being present.

We do not recommend the elective removal of wisdom teeth in order to have orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can be carried out with the wisdom teeth being present, and as shown in the images above, we can use orthodontic treatment to straighten the wisdom teeth into function.

AAO - Member American Association of Orthodontists BDA - British Dental Association World Federation of Orthodontists BOS - British Orthodontic Society RCS - Advancing Surgical Slandaros British Dental Health Foundation British Lingual Orthodontic Society