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Braces, Tooth Extractions and Modern Orthodontics

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Tooth Extraction And Braces – Long-Term Considerations

At other times, extractions are used when other options could have been explored, at the Dental Surgery, we believe the aim should always be to save healthy teeth wherever possible.

The fact the extraction may be removing healthy teeth is one of the negatives to consider when extractions are recommended, the teeth being removed were meant to be serving a purpose.

Often the teeth removed are the premolars, yet these perform the task of further breaking food down after the initial work by the molars.

Removing premolars places an inevitable increased strain on the canine teeth, teeth that have a clear tendency to suffer from erosion, losing both their shape and their functionality.

Having teeth extracted can also have longer-term implications and the more teeth you have removed the greater the potential implications.

Having teeth removed has the effect of changing the facial structure of the patient, potentially pulling the mouth back and slightly flattening the face.

As the patient then ages, this could manifest itself in flatter cheekbones and thinner lips, prematurely ageing them.

The extraction might have had some shorter term benefits for the patient in their childhood including less time wearing braces, but then led to other problems in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

Removing teeth also changes the area within which the tongue is contained, in some cases the patient can start pushing their tongue into their front teeth as they swallow, potentially creating new alignment problems as the front teeth are slowly pushed out of position.

Snoring can be another unwanted after effect of the extraction, the tongue falling back towards the throat and restricting airflow – the problems of snoring go well beyond the noise, conditions such as sleep apnea are far more common in snorers in later life.

Despite the considerations with extractions, please do not think this is us suggesting that there is no place for extractions to accompany braces.

Instead, as with all modern private orthodontic practices, we simply want any patient, or parent to have all the information.

While extraction used to be an almost automatic option – a patient had an issue with overcrowding, an extraction prior to braces was the remedy – those trained more recently prefer to explore other options.

Invisalign

Another option could be Invisalign, these are a series of retainers, changed at regular intervals to facilitate the next portion of realignment.

Invisalign retainers are, as the name implies, almost invisible to the eye and likely will go unnoticed by the person the wearer is talking to.

For anyone considering braces and potential extractions to correct dental issues, we would recommend speaking to an orthodontist and talking through the available options.

If they recommend extractions, ask whether other processes might not be suitable or seek out a second opinion, this is also an opportunity to question them on the potential longer-term implications of having an extraction – the subtle change to facial aesthetics and potential sleep issues among them.

More questions?

If you would like to discuss your options further, please do get in touch with us.

Do you have a specific question?

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