If you are considering getting braces to improve your smile and the function of your mouth, you might require tooth extractions prior to getting the appliances on your teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend upon consultation that your treatment will be most effective after having some teeth removed. In fact, sometimes tooth extraction is the only way to achieve your goals for orthodontic treatment.
The most common reason for tooth extraction prior to braces is overcrowded teeth, in which space must be created to obtain proper tooth alignment. Doctors often recommend removing the teeth in sets of two or four, taking the same teeth from the top and the bottom at the same time. This helps create a symmetrical smile.
Another problem that can be aided from removing teeth is protrusion, which is when the upper teeth are out too far or the lower teeth are too far back. Tooth extraction can cause needed space to reposition the front teeth and stop the teeth and lips from protruding.
Overbites or underbites also sometimes require tooth extraction. When the upper jaw extends further than the lower jaw (overbite) or the lower jaw extends past the upper jaw (underbite), removing specific teeth can be helpful before moving the remaining teeth into better position. This can help prevent jaw surgery later.
If you and your orthodontist decide tooth extraction is best for you, often you will be referred to an oral surgeon. These specialists are trained to extract teeth with the ideal results and least pain. Usually you can return to your normal activities within a day or two of extraction, while following your doctor’s instructions for eating and oral care. Once your mouth has healed, you can return to your orthodontist to begin your braces treatment.