After enough time to reflect upon the issue of teeth straightening, you have decided that you are ready to start your own orthodontic treatment with braces, and that is fantastic! Starting orthodontic treatment with braces represents a strong, positive commitment towards achieving superior teeth alignment and a perfect smile. In a few years, though not without some sacrifices, you will finally be ready to show the world the radiant, irresistible smile of your dreams with the confidence of a superstar walking on the red carpet!

However, a sine qua non condition for any efficient treatment is starting on the right foot. No two smiles are the same, which is why, in some instances, orthodontists might recommend having teeth extracted to patients to maximize teeth straightening results. Losing a tooth is never a happy occasion, so you’re entitled to ask yourself questions, such as: “Why do I have to lose a tooth in the teeth straightening process?” or “Is there any alternative to having teeth extracted before braces?”

Here at Loudoun Orthodontics, we believe that having teeth extracted, albeit a matter of last resort, can not only be your first step towards achieving teeth straightening but also help you solve several other issues that are putting a heavy strain on your dental health. Let’s tune in to today’s blog and learn more about extracting teeth before braces!   

Why Would Teeth Extraction be Necessary before Braces?

There’s no surprise here: not everyone can boast a dazzling smile, which is why people look towards teeth straightening treatments for help. However, just because you intend to start an orthodontic treatment plan doesn’t mean that results are guaranteed. On the contrary, for many would-be patients, oral health issues such as crowding, protruding teeth, misalignment of the upper and lower jaw, etc., could jeopardize the whole treatment. For that reason, orthodontists recommend having teeth extracted for approx. 25% of patients before braces.

Our dental team, led by Dr. Richard J. Lee, DMD, MS, MPH, CAGS, will assess your medical history during your complimentary consultation. Using a routine X-ray scan, we will indicate the best course of treatment for your personal needs. To achieve adequate teeth aligning results and superior oral health, Dr. Lee could recommend teeth extractions as a course of action for the following oral health issues:

#1: Crowding

The most common oral health issue that stands in the way of perfect teeth alignment is crowding, which occurs when the expected number of teeth is exceeded, leading to misalignment issues due to lack of space. When the dental arches cannot accommodate all the teeth in their designated position, orthodontists recommend either having teeth extracted or widening the palate using an expander, if age appropriate. 

Though it might sound more appealing, especially for mild to moderate crowding, palate widening’s extent is limited by the patient’s facial aesthetics, bone structure, and supporting tissues, leaving tooth extraction as the sole option. Teeth extractions provide superior results, especially for adolescents whose jaws have not hardened enough and can still be manipulated through treatment.

#2: Protruding Teeth

In the world of dental health, one health issue stems from another (e.g., dental cavities stemming from tooth decay). On the same note, a crowded dental arch will force the front teeth out of their correct position and make them protrude. Protruding teeth, in turn, lead to other oral health and aesthetic issues: protruding teeth will cause the lips to stick out, affecting the patient’s profile, speech, and confidence.

With the help of extracting two-four of the back teeth, the front teeth will finally be able to move into their original positions and make aesthetic issues a thing of the past!

#3: Correcting the Bite

In some instances, orthodontists discover that their patients’ upper and lower jaws are mismatched, which will not allow the teeth to align correctly. In more severe instances, orthodontists can only fix such an issue through surgery. However, Dr. Lee can recommend teeth extractions to promote superior teeth alignment and compensate for underlying jaw discrepancy if the situation allows it.

#4: Other Reasons

Crowding, protruding teeth, biting issues – these are all problems that teeth extractions can fix before starting your orthodontic treatment with braces. However, having teeth extracted before braces is a splendid idea in other situations as well, which deserve mention:

  • When dealing with a misshapen or disproportionally large or small tooth compared to  other teeth
  • When dealing with a damaged or decayed teeth
  • When dealing with an impacted tooth (positioned against another tooth)

Are There Any Alternatives to Having Teeth Extracted before Braces?

Typically, orthodontists recommend having teeth extracted as a last resort and only after thoroughly weighing the pros and cons of such an approach. Although having teeth extracted is a more direct approach to teeth straightening and offers results faster, you should also consider the alternatives.

One of the most common methods, which we’ve mentioned earlier, is palate widening. Using a device called a palatal expander, this approach will move the separate halves of your palate further apart, opening up more space within your jaw. Since their palate has not yet been permanently fused, children are the best candidates for palate widening. However, if the anatomy of the face allows it, adults can use a palatal expander as well but this is rare.

If you would like to avoid having teeth extracted before braces, make sure that you discuss your alternatives with Dr. Lee during your consultation, who will determine whether palate widening is right for you.

It is time for you to proceed with your orthodontic treatment plan and turn your killer smile into an endless source of confidence and self-esteem with Loudoun Orthodontics! Are you anxious to get in touch with us? Go ahead, schedule a complimentary consultation with us, or check out our blog!



Loudoun Orthodontics