While many adults and teens have their wisdom teeth removed, there are other reasons why removing teeth may be necessary.

Crowding, infections and excessive tooth decay can all necessitate the removal of teeth. What’s more, people who get braces may need a few teeth removing to provide space for the rest of their teeth to shift into position.

A tooth extraction is performed by an oral surgeon or dentist. It’s a fairly quick procedure that’s usually done under general or local anaesthetic. It’s easy enough to remove visible teeth, but those that are below the surface, impacted or broken often require a more involved procedure.

How a Tooth Extraction Is Done

A tooth extraction can be simple or it can be surgical. It all depends on whether the tooth is impacted or visible.

A Simple Tooth Extraction

For a simple extraction, you’ll receive a local anaesthetic. This numbs the area around the tooth, so you’ll just feel a little pressure and no pain during the extraction. An elevator apparatus is used to help loosen the tooth. Then, forceps are used to remove it.

Surgical Extraction

For a surgical removal, you’ll receive a combination of intravenous and local anaesthetic to help you feel relaxed. The surgeon then cuts into your gum, making a small incision. Some bone may need to be removed around the tooth, or tooth may need to be cut before removing it.

Removing Teeth for Braces

Removing teeth is a common expectation if a tooth can’t be saved. But tooth extraction is also common in the orthodontics field. When you need braces, your orthodontist will weigh the pros and cons of removing any of your teeth.

As with any type of procedure, you have choices that will be discussed with your orthodontist. It’s important for you to understand why teeth need to be removed, how any alternatives work, and what the results are that you and your orthodontist wish to achieve.

Overall, removing one or two teeth before you get braces helps make space for the rest of your teeth to move into their newer, straighter position.

Overcrowding and Tooth Extraction

If your teeth are overcrowded, it can lead to your teeth protruding. It’s common to remove teeth and use braces to allow for more space for your teeth to erupt the gums. This is typically effective in children younger than 16 before their jawbone hardens too much and can’t be manipulated.

Helping Reposition Your Jaw

The way in which your jaw is positioned can determine if you have an underbite or overbite. If the bite is drastically off, removing teeth may be necessary.

Removing Teeth Before Braces

Sometimes, you need to lose something to gain something. This is can be the case if you want to achieve an attractive and straighter smile. If there are too many teeth on the dental arch, crowding occurs. The lack of space is the number one reason teeth may be misaligned.

Before this can be corrected with braces, we need to free up space to allow for teeth to move, and we do this by removing teeth. Ideal candidates for this procedure are those that have teeth that we want to move but aren’t highly visible. The most frequent choices for removal are the pointed teeth right under your eyes.

Typically, the target teeth are removed a while before applying braces. This gives your gums the chance to heal. It’s also the chance to preserve the bone that used to support the extracted teeth. That’s because when you chew, the forces generated by your teeth stimulate bone growth. When you no longer have a tooth, the supporting bone doesn’t receive the stimulation and is likely to reduce in volume.

To prevent this, a bone graft may be placed in the empty socket after removing teeth. The graft is like a scaffold that encourages new bone to grow. Once we’re ready to put braces on, the bone should be healthy and strong enough to handle your teeth moving into their new position.

What Happens Next?

Once your braces are applied, the teeth move under the influences of braces. They’ll start filling up the space created by removing teeth and once done, you won’t even miss the extracted teeth. You’ll have a straight, filled out smile.

Each step is the process is carefully planned and precisely executed, and it can take months or years to complete. But the end result is a corrected bite problem and an attractive smile.

Alternatives to Removing Teeth

Typically, orthodontists don’t recommend extractions unless it’s the best possible choice. There are a few other techniques that can help make room in the mouth without needing to remove teeth.

The most common is called palate widening. This involves using a special appliance to move and separate halves of the roof of the mouth apart to create more jaw space. This is a common method used with children as their palate has yet to fuse.

It can also be used in adults. If you’d rather avoid removing teeth before getting braces, you can discuss the alternatives and their pros and cons with your orthodontist before settling on a decision.

Do You Really Need Surgery?

Some people will need to have teeth removed before they get braces. Dental surgery, however, is another option. In some cases, dental surgery can offer similar results to a tooth extracting without removing teeth. Dental surgery is typically invasive, but the point is to try and move the bottom row of your teeth forward or more the top row backward to help prepare your smile for braces treatment.

But there’s no problem with removing teeth for braces. It simply makes way for the rest of your teeth to shift and straighten your smile!

Discuss your orthodontic options today with the team at Geoffrey Wexler Orthodontist.