Wisdom teeth removal and crowding of teeth – the truth!

There are a lot of important reasons why wisdom teeth should be removed, but removing your wisdom teeth will not prevent your teeth from becoming crooked. Contrary to popular opinion, wisdom teeth do not cause crowding of teeth. It’s one of those things that makes sense if you think about it, but the truth is that it doesn’t happen. Here’s evidence including the highest level of evidence which is a Cochrane review…and you can’t argue with scientific evidence.


1. Fastlicht (1970) found that in orthodontically treated subjects, only 11% had wisdom teeth present but 86% still had a relapse of lower anterior crowing after treatment.
2. Kaplan (1974) concluded that the presence of third molars does not produce a greater degree anterior crowding after the cessation of retention.
3. Little (1981) observed that 90% of patients treated orthodontically with extractions relapsed with lower anterior crowding.
4. Lifshitz (1982) evaluated lower anterior crowding in patients with lower premolar extraction in the presence or absence of lower third molars, and concluded that a relapse of crowding occurs after treatment regardless of whether lower premolars were extracted or third molars were present.
5. Linqvist and Thilander (1982) reported that patients with prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth had similar relapse of lower anterior alignment than those with wisdom teeth present.
6. Ades et al. (1990) reported no difference in mandibular growth pattern whether wisdom teeth were erupted, impacted, or missing, and concluded that there is no basis for recommending third molar extractions to alleviate or prevent mandibular incisor crowding.
7. Southard et al. (1991) found that the surgical removal of third molars did not have an effect on contact tightness.
8. Pirttiniemi et al. (1994) evaluated the effect of removal of impacted wisdom teeth on subjects in their third decade of life (30-39 years of age) and found that wisdom tooth extraction had no significant change in the lower anterior area.