If you’ve ever had braces, you’re probably familiar with orthodontists. They’re the dental specialists who straighten teeth and correct misaligned bites. But when it comes to wisdom teeth, you might wonder if orthodontists can also perform extractions. In this blog post, we’ll explore whether orthodontists can remove wisdom teeth and what factors may come into play. So, if you’re curious about the relationship between orthodontics and wisdom teeth removal, keep reading!
What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists are trained to use braces, aligners, and other dental appliances to straighten teeth, correct misaligned bites, and improve the overall appearance of the teeth and face. They work closely with dentists and other dental specialists to provide comprehensive patient care. Orthodontists typically complete two to three years of specialized training beyond dental school to gain the necessary expertise.
Dental Appliances Used by an Orthodontist
Orthodontists use a variety of dental appliances to help straighten teeth and correct jaw alignment. Some of the most common types of appliances used by orthodontists include:
- Braces: Braces are the most well-known orthodontic appliance, and they consist of brackets, wires, and bands that work together to apply gentle pressure to the teeth and gradually move them into the desired position.
- Retainers: Once braces are removed, a retainer is often used to help maintain the position of the teeth. Retainers can be removable or fixed, typically worn for a specified time each day or night.
- Aligners: Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gradually move them into the desired position. They are removable and often used as an alternative to traditional braces.
- Palatal expanders: Palatal expanders widen the upper jaw to create more space for the teeth. They consist of a metal framework attached to the molars and a screw turned to widen the appliance gradually.
- Headgear: Headgear is a removable appliance used to correct overbites or underbites by applying gentle pressure to the teeth and jaw.
- Herbst appliance: A Herbst appliance is a fixed appliance used to correct overbites by bringing the lower jaw forward.
These are just a few examples of the dental appliances orthodontists use. The specific type of appliance recommended will depend on the patient’s needs and orthodontic issues.
Types of Procedures an Orthodontist Perform
Orthodontists are dental specialists who primarily diagnose, prevent, and correct malocclusions (improper bites) and misaligned teeth. Here are some of the procedures and services that an orthodontist may perform:
- Braces: Orthodontists commonly use braces to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. Braces consist of brackets, wires, and elastic bands attached to the teeth, gradually shifting them into proper alignment over time.
- Invisalign: Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces that uses clear plastic aligners to shift teeth into place. Invisalign is often preferred by adults or teens who want a more discreet treatment option.
- Retainers: Orthodontists often recommend wearing retainers after braces or Invisalign treatment to maintain the new tooth alignment. Retainers can be removable or fixed to the teeth.
- Orthognathic surgery: In some cases, orthodontic treatment may require surgical intervention to correct jaw misalignment. An oral surgeon and an orthodontist typically perform orthognathic surgery.
- Space maintainers: If a child loses a baby tooth prematurely, an orthodontist may recommend a space maintainer to prevent other teeth from shifting and causing future bite problems.
- Appliance therapy: Orthodontists may use other dental appliances to correct bite issues or tooth alignment. Examples of such appliances include expanders, headgear, and facemasks.
Overall, the goal of an orthodontist is to create a healthy, functional, and aesthetically pleasing smile that promotes optimal oral health and overall well-being. You can also visit the American Association of Orthodontists website to learn more.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Can Orthodontists Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Orthodontists primarily focus on the alignment of teeth and jaws, and they do not typically perform extractions, including wisdom teeth removal. However, in some cases, an orthodontist may recommend that a patient have their wisdom teeth extracted as part of their orthodontic treatment plan.
In most cases, wisdom teeth cannot cause problems and can be left in place. However, in some situations, wisdom teeth can cause crowding or other issues with tooth alignment that can interfere with orthodontic treatment. In these cases, an orthodontist may recommend that the patient have their wisdom teeth removed to help facilitate the movement of their other teeth.
While orthodontists do not typically perform extractions themselves, they may work closely with oral surgeons or general dentists to coordinate wisdom teeth extraction as part of a patient’s overall treatment plan. This can help ensure that the patient receives comprehensive care that addresses their orthodontic needs and oral health.
Not all orthodontists have experience or expertise in coordinating wisdom teeth extractions, so it’s important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your orthodontist and/or dentist to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removed by an Orthodontist?
Impacted wisdom teeth are typically removed by an oral surgeon or a general dentist rather than an orthodontist. While orthodontists specialize in aligning teeth and jaws, they do not typically perform extractions or surgical procedures.
In some cases, an orthodontist may recommend that a patient remove their impacted wisdom teeth to facilitate orthodontic treatment. However, the actual extraction would typically be performed by an oral surgeon or a general dentist with the necessary expertise and training to safely and effectively remove impacted wisdom teeth.
If you suspect that you may have impacted wisdom teeth, it’s important to consult with a dental professional who can assess your situation and recommend the appropriate course of action. This may involve referral to an oral surgeon for extraction or coordination with an orthodontist to incorporate wisdom teeth removal into an overall treatment plan.
What Type of Dentist is Best for Removing Wisdom Teeth?
Who removes wisdom teeth? Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMS) are dental specialists who are best equipped to remove wisdom teeth. These specialists have completed dental school and pursued additional training in mouth, face, and jaw surgical procedures.
In addition to their dental education, oral surgeons receive extensive training in anesthesia and pain management, making them well-equipped to remove wisdom teeth with minimal discomfort to the patient safely. They also have the necessary equipment and expertise to handle any potential complications that may arise during the procedure.
While general dentists may also offer wisdom teeth extraction services, an OMS is typically the best choice for more complicated cases or patients with certain medical conditions requiring special attention.
How Soon Can You Get Braces After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The timing of getting braces after removing wisdom teeth depends on various factors, including the type of braces used and the healing progress of the extraction sites.
Orthodontists typically wait at least a few weeks to a few months after wisdom teeth removal before placing braces. This allows time for the extraction sites to heal and for any swelling to subside.
The specific timeline will vary from person to person, and your orthodontist will assess your situation to determine the appropriate timing for starting orthodontic treatment. It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations and attend regular check-ups to ensure your treatment progresses as planned.
Can You Get Wisdom Teeth Pulled While Wearing Braces?
Can you get your teeth pulled while wearing braces? Yes, getting your wisdom teeth pulled while wearing braces is possible. However, the timing and procedure may vary depending on individual circumstances.
If your wisdom teeth are impacted or causing overcrowding in your mouth, your orthodontist and oral surgeon may recommend having them extracted. In some cases, removing the wisdom teeth before starting orthodontic treatment may be better to ensure enough room for the remaining teeth to shift into proper alignment.
If your wisdom teeth need to be removed while you are already wearing braces, your orthodontist and oral surgeon will coordinate to ensure the treatment plan is carefully coordinated. The oral surgeon will likely remove the teeth in stages to avoid interfering with the braces, and your orthodontist may need to make adjustments to your braces after each stage to ensure proper alignment.
It is important to follow your orthodontist’s and oral surgeon’s instructions for post-extraction care to minimize any discomfort or complications during the healing process.
Putting Braces on Wisdom Teeth
In most cases, orthodontists do not put braces on wisdom teeth. This is because wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often do not fully emerge until the late teenage years or early adulthood. Most orthodontic treatment plans are already underway or have been completed by this point.
In addition, wisdom teeth are often non-functional and unnecessary for proper dental function or alignment. Wisdom teeth can sometimes cause problems such as overcrowding or impaction, which can make it difficult to clean the teeth and gums properly and may require extraction.
In rare cases where a patient’s wisdom teeth have fully emerged and are functional, an orthodontist may consider including them in the treatment plan. However, this is not common and would require careful evaluation of the patient’s unique situation to determine if it is appropriate.
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