Do I Need Extractions with my Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment or braces is the treatment of choice for misalignment and malocclusion. Ideally, treatments will involve the mere pushing, pulling, tipping, tilting and rotation of the teeth. Different forces are placed on them to bring them to the proper position. And sometimes, there is a need for teeth extractions.
Teeth Extractions and Braces
While not all orthodontic cases require teeth extractions, sometimes it will be part of the treatment plan. This concerns many patients, because apart from the pain and discomfort involved in the procedure, people are reluctant to let go of perfectly good teeth. "My teeth are not even decayed!" Yes, most teeth extractions required for braces, involve teeth that are healthy. But they are performed because of the following reasons:
- To create space. The most common reason for teeth extractions for braces is to create space. When the teeth are crowded or crooked, you can relieve the space on the jaw, so that you can move the teeth around and bring it to its proper place. The common teeth removed are the premolars because of its size and position. Depending on the severity, two to four teeth may be removed on each quadrant. This extraction should be good enough to create space to be able to move teeth around.
- To remove "extra tooth". Sometimes the teeth are removed because they erupted outside of the occlusion or it did not erupt at all. Although in some cases, impacted canines and premolars are taken out and bought into place within the jaw, some teeth may just be removed. When they appear to be extra teeth because the smile can do without them, they are just taken out.
- To prevent relapse. In the case of impacted molars or wisdom teeth, their removal may be prescribed as a preventive measure. Wisdom teeth that are impacted will not come out into occlusion anymore, but their position within the bone can be destructive, because they can push the adjacent teeth. This is why relapse is common after braces. When the wisdom teeth are left after braces, they may render the treatment useless, because of the relapse. A valuable measure would be to take them out, whether or not they are present with any symptoms.
- To reduce the total treatment time. If the teeth are to be moved to the desired new position without extraction of teeth, the whole treatment may consume a lot more time than usual and the treatment may extend from one year to two or two and a half in some cases.