Braces & Invisalign: Do Impacted Wisdom Teeth matter?

Braces & Invisalign: Do Impacted Wisdom Teeth matter?

Are you experiencing earache or jaw pain? Are your gums tender, bleeding, or swollen around your wisdom teeth? Do you suffer from pain around your wisdom teeth when you swallow or chew? If you experienced any of the mentioned symptoms, then it might be indicative of problems with impacted wisdom teeth.

In this article, we will dive deep into all you need to know about impacted wisdom teeth and how they can affect your metal or invisible braces treatment.

What is impacted wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth become impacted when these third molars lack a clear path to erupt normally into the mouth, resulting in them becoming partially or fully trapped in the jawbone or gums. When that happens, the impaction can lead to several serious orthodontic and dental issues, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections.

There are two primary types of wisdom tooth impaction – bony impaction and soft tissue impaction. Bony impaction most commonly happens to the bottom wisdom teeth, presenting itself in three forms or angulations – horizontal, mesial, and vertical impaction.

On the other hand, soft tissue impaction happens when thick gum obstructs the wisdom teeth from growing normally; it can happen to the upper or lower wisdom teeth.

Addressing impacted wisdom teeth

A good way to deal with impacted wisdom teeth is to visit a dentist or an orthodontist who will be able to recommend to you the best course of action. They will analyse the condition of your impacted wisdom tooth, and assess the risk of any possible complications, such as decay, and advise you whether removing it is necessary. Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth can be dis-impacted through a course of orthodontic treatment.

Leaving the impacted wisdom tooth as it is without seeking timely treatment can sometimes lead to more severe consequences, such as damage to other healthy teeth, pericoronitis, and the development of oral cysts.

How do impacted wisdom teeth affect Invisalign or braces?

You do not have to wait for your wisdom teeth to develop before going for any braces treatment. There is generally no cause for concern that impacted wisdom teeth will affect your existing orthodontic treatment. The force that wisdom teeth exert when they develop makes little impact on surrounding teeth and will not be able to push them out of the way.

Additionally, your orthodontic treatment will not be affected by any future extraction of impacted wisdom teeth should they develop. The shifting of the teeth after braces treatment is not caused by impacted wisdom teeth but by the natural movements of our oral structures after the removal of braces, and by changes due to aging. Hence, this is why it is so vital that you wear your retainers according to your orthodontist or dentist’s recommendation.

However, if you decide to undergo orthodontic treatment after your wisdom teeth have emerged, removal of the wisdom teeth is only needed if they impact the surrounding teeth, obstructing the movement of other teeth and causing serious orthodontic issues.

Impacted wisdom teeth can create gum pockets that are capable of trapping food particles, increasing the risk of tooth decay and infections. Pericoronitis, an inflammation of the gums surrounding the wisdom teeth, makes it impossible for the individual to continue with Invisalign treatment. In such cases, extraction of the wisdom teeth becomes necessary.

Is it necessary to extract impacted wisdom teeth before getting orthodontic treatment?

Even if you do not have impacted wisdom teeth, extractions are necessary before getting braces if repositioning of the jaw is needed or if there is an overcrowding issue. With impacted wisdom teeth, the need for surgical extraction depends on the severity of the impaction and the individual’s oral situation.

If the impacted wisdom tooth does not cause any issue for the individual’s overall oral health currently or in the future, there is no point in extracting it. Furthermore, orthodontic treatment, such as with Invisalign and metal braces, can shift the teeth laterally outwards, reducing the need for extraction as much as possible.


If you notice any obvious symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth, it is highly advisable to visit a dentist for an immediate check-up to confirm the diagnosis. Once confirmed, you can choose to remove the impacted wisdom tooth. It is wise to have it extracted as soon as possible, especially if it affects your oral hygiene and health.

At BigSmile Dental Clinic, we provide dental and orthodontic treatment all in one location, allowing our patients to experience a seamless treatment process. Make an appointment with us to achieve a confident and healthy smile today!