Oak Park, IL – Wearing braces is a popular orthodontic treatment which is conducted to correctly align the jaws and the teeth of a person. But this method isn’t as simple as just putting braces on your teeth. Before braces are ready to wear, the orthodontist has to plan the entire treatment process in detail. In some cases, a tooth extraction might be required to achieve the desired results.
Whether or not you should have a tooth extraction isn’t an easy question to answer, as the requirements for the same varies from one case to another. And your orthodontist is the best person to know what’s best.
So, let’s dig in and find out more.
When Tooth Extraction Can’t be Avoided
The purpose of having braces is to achieve a perfectly aligned bite and a pleasing smile for the overall well-being of oral health. Mostly, the orthodontist tries to avoid the removal of teeth. But there are certain cases where tooth extraction can’t be avoided. So, the orthodontist recommends that you get teeth removed before wearing braces. It’s important to know what are those compelling reasons that make tooth extraction a prerequisite for braces.
Crowded Teeth: Crowding occurs in both adults and children. If you have crowded teeth, your orthodontist might suggest extraction of one or more teeth so that other teeth can spread out along the gum line. How many teeth will require extraction depends on the severity of the problem.
Overbite: In an overbite, the upper teeth of a person extend too far and cover their lower teeth. Many people have a severe overbite, which necessitates the extraction of tooth before braces can be put on.
Extra Tooth: Tooth extraction might be a good recommend in cases where a person has one more extra teeth. Sometimes, the presence of extra teeth disturbs the positioning of other teeth. For the braces to deliver excellent results, your orthodontist might suggest you go for tooth removal.
Damaged or Weak Tooth: Braces fit snugly and put pressure on the teeth so that correct alignment can be achieved. Decayed, damaged or weak teeth simply don’t fit into this scheme. If you have a tooth which is not in a condition to withstand the pressure put by braces, that tooth might need to be extracted. In such cases, the orthodontist first considers a root canal therapy. But if root canal therapy doesn’t look like a possibility, the damaged tooth has to be removed.
Impacted Tooth: An impacted tooth is one that has failed to break out of the gum. It can be there even without your knowledge. If it is residing in the gums and you are not aware, a dental X-ray will reveal it. People with impacted teeth often experience signs like swollen gums and headache. Anyone having impacted teeth can be a potential candidate for tooth extraction.
Like these, there are many other scenarios in which your orthodontist might recommend a tooth extraction for braces. It’s only after the orthodontist has analyzed your case in detail that they can be sure whether or not you need teeth removal. If a tooth extraction is absolutely necessary, you’ll need to go for it before you are ready to wear braces for a beautiful, straight smile.
Expectations from Tooth Extraction
Usually, a tooth extraction involves loosening a tooth until it is ready to be pulled out from its position. It is a gradual process, carried out with the help of local anesthesia. The orthodontist makes sure you are completely at ease until the tooth has been dislodged. In cases where the tooth is damaged or chipped, the process takes more time because the orthodontist has to remove the tooth bit by bit. If it is a simple tooth extraction and there are no stitches, recovery is quick.
On the other hand, a tooth extraction that is surgical takes more time to heal. In any case, the orthodontist waits for the patient to fully recover before getting started with the placement of braces.
Alternatives to Tooth Extraction
The orthodontist performs tooth extraction only in cases where it is absolutely essential and so they consider alternative options first.
Depending on the specificity of your orthodontic case, your orthodontist can employ a number of methods or techniques other than teeth removal. For example, they use a U-shape tool which widens the palettes to deal with crowding. In kids and young children, it is easier to broaden the upper jaw by stimulating the growth center with the use of an expander. In adults, however, this isn’t possible because of the fused arches. So, the orthodontists simply try to spread the teeth towards the outside in adults and this type of expansion has its limits.
If expansion causes the bone and gums of an adult to recede, the orthodontist can also go for surgical procedures. The surgery is performed to provide more bone in the areas where it is lacking after expansion.
Get in touch with the orthodontist and talk about what you exactly need. If you’re not ready for tooth extraction, discuss the alternative options that are available in your specific case. Know the merits and demerits of each alternative method from the orthodontist, and then make a well-informed decision.
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