Sometimes when we mention extraction, before we place braces, some patients may become wary, especially if the teeth being removed may be otherwise healthy. However, extraction is necessary, in some cases, if the additional teeth may make it difficult to correctly align the bite.

Why Teeth Are Extracted

When teeth are extracted, we usually remove from 1 to 4 teeth, depending on the diagnosis. The third molars, or wisdom teeth, are considered a separate extraction, as these teeth are removed for other reasons besides straightening. It is common to remove an odd number of teeth, especially when addressing issues with traumatic biting or asymmetry. Teeth are extracted so all the remaining teeth will fit into a healthy and correct position in the mouth. By using 3-D modeling scans, we can figure out which extractions will provide the best results. Therefore, teeth are extracted when we cannot straighten the teeth without their removal or when a tooth is too large to fit inside the mouth. If a tooth is sore, discolored, or growing in the wrong direction, we may also remove it. A tooth that is cracked, chipped, or damaged, or is sensitive to the touch, may need to be removed as well.

Which Teeth Are Usually Extracted

When we do remove teeth, we usually extract the fourth or fifth teeth from the front, or the premolars. In some instances, we may extract a back molar in addition to the premolars or instead of a premolar tooth. As an alternative to extraction, we may be able to widen the palate in children or add bone to the palate in adults to expand it. We may also be able to use a method, called distalization, which directs crowded teeth farther back into the mouth. Of course, every case is different. That is why we try to find those solutions that offer the best treatment outcomes. Our goal is to ensure that you realize the best smile possible. If you would like to schedule an orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, give us a call now.