Do I have to have teeth taken out?

The majority of the patients seen in our specialist orthodontic practice are treated on a non-extraction basis; i.e. they do not have to have teeth taken out as part of their orthodontic treatment. Our specialist orthodontists employ the latest in orthodontic braces, advanced clinical methods and state-of-the-art wire technology to ensure that the need for extractions is minimised. In our practice, ‘expansion’ and ‘orthopaedic’ techniques are always used in appropriate cases to avoid the need for removal of teeth.

Your orthodontist will use his knowledge, training and experience; as well as your radiographs (X-ray films) and models of your teeth to perform a full evaluation and analysis of your orthodontic condition before devising a treatment plan that’s right for you.
There is no such thing as ‘extraction’ or ‘non-extraction orthodontic treatment’. You may be surprised to hear that arguments over whether teeth should be extracted or not as part of orthodontic treatment have raged for over one hundred years. However a reasonable contemporary view would be that not all patients and faces are the same and it would be illogical and ludicrous to attempt to treat all patients and faces in exactly the same way.

Each individual case should be studied and analysed carefully, taking various factors and circumstances including the patient’s facial profile into consideration. Only then, treatment should be planned based on the specific and unique factors that have created the orthodontic problems in that particular patient. The solution may or may not involve the extraction of teeth. In any event, our priority is always to obtain good facial balance and a full attractive smile.

There are several reasons why teeth may have to be taken out is some orthodontic patients. Some of these include:

  • extraction to relieve severe crowding of the teeth particularly when the jaws are very small, or the teeth are very large and/or impacted;
  • extraction because of the presence of more than the normal number of teeth;
  • extraction of teeth that are hopelessly distant from their correct positions and are impossible to move to where they should be;
  • extraction of very decayed, broken-down or infected teeth that cannot be saved by the general dentist in the long-term;
  • extraction of some baby teeth to encourage their corresponding adult teeth grow into their correct positions;
  • extraction of some baby teeth to encourage spontaneous and natural alignment of crowded adult teeth;
  • extraction of side teeth to enable very protruding upper and/or lower teeth be pushed back.

In all of these cases no space is left behind after teeth are taken out. The spaces either close naturally because other teeth need more room, and/or braces will help the closure of spaces in the right way.

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