Orthodontic treatment can move your teeth into better alignment to deliver a beautiful, healthy smile. The teeth in your upper and lower jaw should meet without overlap. This will make it easy to brush, speak, chew food and even breathe. Misaligned teeth can cause many different problems. These include oral hygiene issues, speech impediments, poor digestion and breathing difficulties. Our teeth erupt when we are children and sometimes their natural placements need adjusting. While some patients only need to wear braces, others may undergo some treatment before braces are fitted. An example of preliminary treatment is tooth extractions.
There are three main reasons why a patient may need a tooth extraction before they start orthodontic treatment:
- damaged or rotten teeth
- preventative care
Damaged Or Rotten Teeth
Decaying or rotten teeth should be removed before braces are fitted if they cannot be saved through dental treatment. Most patients have damaged or compromised teeth removed before they get braces. Then the gaps left can be filled by moving the remaining teeth into place. This is easier than moving crowned teeth.
Most humans have 32 teeth but some people have narrow jaw bones and the teeth don’t fit. A small facial structure cannot accommodate the teeth but the body still produces them. This is called ‘severe overcrowding’: there is not enough space in the patient’s face to allow the teeth to grow in their correct alignment. In these cases, extractions should be undertaken before the braces get fitted. Once there is enough space within the patient’s jaw, braces can straighten out the remaining teeth and create that perfect smile.
As most patients of orthodontists are children or teenagers, there is one final reason why extractions may be a good idea. At this stage, the patients will not yet have their final four teeth: their wisdom teeth. An orthodontist may predict that there is not enough space left for these large teeth or that their eruption may undo years of orthodontic treatment. In these cases, they may elect to extract teeth to make space for them. This can save the patient having to undergo further treatment after their wisdom teeth push through and damage their alignment. Alternatively, if other teeth are decayed or rotten, these compromised teeth can be removed and remaining teeth shifted to create room for wisdom teeth in the future.
What Do You Need?
Of course, every patient is different and there is no way to tell what treatment you may need without an appointment. If you think either you or your child may benefit from orthodontic treatment, you can book in for a complimentary consultation at iSmile Orthodontics. This is a free, no-obligation meeting where you can find out what your options are. It is an opportunity for one of our orthodontists to examine your teeth and assess your alignment. You can learn more about how we can help you achieve that perfect, healthy, straight smile.