Did you know that braces can do a lot more than just make your smile look better? Orthodontic treatments can mean healthier teeth overall. And this includes treating tooth impaction. That’s right; braces can actually be an effective solution for impacted teeth.
What Are Impacted Teeth?
Impacted teeth are quite common. They occur when a tooth is unable to emerge successfully from the gums and enter its proper position in the mouth. This can happen due to a lack of space in the mouth, an obstruction from other teeth, or other factors. Teeth that are most frequently impacted include wisdom teeth, canines, and premolars. There are several types of impaction as well as levels of severity when it comes to tooth impaction. The severity and type of impaction will affect the type of treatment recommended.
Problems Caused by Impacted Teeth
Impacted teeth can cause a variety of dental problems. Some of the most common issues associated with impacted teeth include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Infections and abscesses
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Misaligned teeth
How Braces Can Help
Orthodontics may be an effective solution for impacted teeth in certain situations because they can help guide teeth into a better position in the mouth. Braces and other orthodontic treatments, such as clear aligners, work by applying gentle, constant pressure to the teeth, gradually moving them into their correct alignment. These treatments can help if you are being affected by impacted teeth or if you were affected by them in the past.
Your dentist or orthodontist may notice an impacted tooth in its early stages, often by taking a dental x-ray. In this case, it may be possible to use braces to address the situation before it becomes a bigger problem. By adjusting the position of your teeth, braces may be able to create space in the mouth and encourage teeth to emerge properly.
In some cases, braces and other dental treatments are used in conjunction. This combination can be even more successful in addressing impacted teeth. For example, surgical procedures such as tooth extraction may be necessary to remove obstructions.
Oftentimes, an impacted tooth will erupt at an imperfect angle. Additionally, when an impacted tooth comes in, it may apply pressure to neighboring teeth, moving them out of alignment. In either case, sometimes it is possible to use braces or other orthodontic treatments to correct the tooth misalignment or overcrowding resulting from the impaction. The good news is that even if your misalignment or overcrowding occurred in the past, orthodontics can often correct the problem.
Types of Braces for Impacted Teeth
There are several types of braces or treatment options that may be used to treat impacted teeth, including:
- Traditional metal braces: These are the most common type of braces. They are made of metal brackets and wires.
- Ceramic braces: This option is similar to traditional metal braces, however, ceramic braces are made of clear or tooth-colored materials, making them less noticeable.
- Clear Aligners: Clear aligners are nearly invisible trays that fit over teeth to adjust their position slowly, similar to braces. Aligners are custom-made for each patient and can be removed for eating and brushing.
Your orthodontist will be able to recommend the best type of braces or other treatments for your individual needs.
Want to Learn More?
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort due to impacted teeth, braces may be an effective solution. By gently guiding teeth into their proper position in the mouth, braces can create space and encourage teeth to emerge properly.
Contact us today to learn more about how braces might be able to help you if you have impacted teeth or are living with misalignment that resulted from them.