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When Your Orthodontist Recommends Extraction

Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Today’s braces have come a long way. Braces are less conspicuous, easier to keep clean, and, often, treatment takes less time than it did in the recent past. With early intervention and modern treatment techniques, orthodontists are able to help make your orthodontic journey more confident, carefree, and efficient.

Even with all of the benefits of modern orthodontics, though, there are still some reasons that a tooth should be extracted to give a patient the best, healthiest alignment and bite. When might your orthodontist recommend an extraction?

  • Large teeth and/or a small jaw can mean that there’s just not enough space for your overcrowded teeth.
  • The placement of a tooth or teeth make it impossible to correct a bite problem.
  • Your wisdom teeth are impacted or erupting, and are likely to interfere with your bite and/or crowd your teeth.
  • You have an extra, or supernumerary, tooth—a rare occurrence which can cause crowding, tooth displacement, or even block a healthy adult tooth from erupting.

If your orthodontist recommends extraction, it makes a lot of sense to ask for a referral to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon like Dr. Holtzen. Why an oral surgeon?

  • Anything other than a simple extraction requires surgical treatment, and your oral surgeon has spent years of additional specialized medical study and training after dental school focusing specifically on facial, jaw, and dental surgeries.
  • Oral surgeons know how to deal with complicated extraction issues and potential complications. Teeth that lie close to a nerve, teeth that are impacted, or teeth with long, curved roots most often mean that surgical extractions are the best and safest options.
  • Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon is trained to administer all forms of anesthesia, including not only local anesthesia but a variety of sedation options as well. You can decide on the method that will make you most comfortable.
  • Oral surgeons have a wealth of experience in extractions, whether simple or complicated, because this procedure is performed regularly in their offices.

If your orthodontist has recommended an extraction in order to achieve your healthiest bite and alignment, ask about our Missoula or Hamilton oral and maxillofacial surgery office.