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LAST UPDATED: MARCH 28, 2017
Tooth extraction is commonly expected as a solution for a tooth that cannot be saved. However, tooth extraction is a common practice in the field of orthodontics. When a patient needs braces, orthodontists weigh the pros and cons of removing teeth.
As with any procedure, the patient has choices that should be discussed thoroughly with their orthodontist about the best course of action for them. It is important to understand why teeth should be removed, how the alternatives work and when they are a viable option, and what are the results the patient and orthodontist wish to achieve?
Why remove teeth?
Teeth removal is employed for a number of reasons by an orthodontist. Though common practice, an orthodontist should not be chosen because he or she does or does not perform a lot of extractions. Some patients will go to great lengths to avoid a procedure, which may be their best option for treatment. Checking orthodontist reviews is a good research choice when seeking an orthodontist based on their customer satisfaction, not their avoidance of a certain procedure.
When braces are being considered and tooth extraction has been determined as the correct route to be taken, it is usually for one of the following reasons:
- Jaw position
- Lip position
- Spacing for braces
How Will Tooth Extraction Change My Overcrowding?
When overcrowding of the teeth occurs, this can lead to teeth protruding, or “buck teeth.” Extraction is often used in conjunction with braces to allow for more room for teeth to erupt the gums. This use is only effective in children under 16 before the jawbone hardens too much to allow for the manipulation of the teeth in this manner.
How Will Tooth Extraction Change My Jaw Position?
The way a jaw is positioned can determine if the patient has an overbite or under bite. In cases, where the bite is drastically off, surgery may be required. In what is often the case, tooth extraction can be an alternative to the surgery.
How Will Tooth Extraction Change My Lip Position?
Tooth extraction is sometimes used to change the position or “posture” of the lips. This not always a foolproof method, however. Lips that protrude a great deal may actually be more noticeable after extraction.
How Will Tooth Extraction Change My Spacing?
Removing teeth create spaces in the mouth, which allow the orthodontist to position the teeth correctly. Extraction will also give the orthodontist the opportunity to correct certain flaws using other techniques that would otherwise not be easily accomplished with all the teeth present.
What is Invisalign?
Unlike traditional braces, using Invisalign orthodontist care does not require the extraction of teeth. Invisalign uses clear, plastic molds that fit snugly over the teeth, and can eventually be removed for brushing, eating, and cleaning the “brace” by the patient when treatment has progressed to an advanced stage. This method is much less invasive, not readily detectable, and requires fewer visits to the orthodontist for maintenance.
Invisalign patients deal with much less fuss than patients with traditional metal braces do. A clear advantage is for teens and children going through phases when their appearance is a touchy issue and virtually invisible braces are a welcomed alternative to a mouthful of metal and rubber bands. Generally, Invisalign devices will straighten teeth in much less time, and, much of the time, are less painful because of the use of gently applied pressure by the devices.
Will I Need Dental Surgery?
Invisalign is not the only option for straightening teeth. In fact, it may not be the best option for a patient, especially a young patient. Orthodontists often must resort to teeth removal in order to care properly for the patient. Most often dental surgery is performed in lieu of tooth extraction due to the severity of a jaw misalignment. Understandably, surgery is the choice of last resort for patients.
Are Orthodontists Specialists?
Their purpose is to straighten teeth, correct bites, align jaws, and solve other issues that may arise which can affect a patients eating, drinking, speaking, and sleeping habits. Teeth removal may deter some patients from seeking the treatment of an orthodontist, but patients have the right to refuse any suggested treatment.
When a patient, or the parent of a patient opts not to pursue certain treatment routes, other options may exist, but they are often the secondary options. An orthodontist does his or her best to arrange the treatment plan that is ideal for the patient, both physically and financially. When nothing is done, the problem can worsen, lead to more serious problems, or remain the same for years, which can be bothersome.
If Invisalign is not an option, and traditional braces, or a surgical procedure is necessary, an orthodontist is there to help teach and guide patients regarding their care plan. The decision to do nothing, or put off what should be done today, can have serious consequences down the road, especially in the cases of children. Do your smile, and your child’s smile a favor, and discuss the need for braces with an orthodontist today.
Contact Us Today for an Appointment
Nothing is going to change about your smile until you take action. Call today to learn more about what the best orthodontist in Nashville TN can offer you. Enjoy the professional and inviting atmosphere at Gluck Orthodontics as you are welcomed into the office. Dr. Gluck and his staff will strive to make you comfortable and keep you well-informed about all of your orthodontic options.
Remember that your choice to have orthodontic treatment will give you a boost of confidence and make your smile shine. You’ll also be able to have better oral hygiene and avoid problems like TMJ disorders due to a poor bite or misalignment of your teeth. Drs. Joel and Dr. Jonathan Gluck is here for you to bring out the best in your smile. Make your appointment today.
Are There Alternatives to Having Teeth Removed for Braces?
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.