Friday, February 17, 2012

Will I Need to Have Teeth Extracted Before Getting Braces?

Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments, usually used to correct crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, or crowding in the mouth. Although braces are still most common among adolescents, more and more adults and younger children are undergoing orthodontic treatment either to correct issues that were not dealt with when they were younger or to prevent problems from developing in the future. A consultation with our experienced orthodontist can help answer your questions about braces and other orthodontic treatments.

When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?

At one time, it was considered routine to remove teeth before placing braces, especially with younger patients who were experiencing crowding. Now, however, most orthodontists will consider other methods to alleviate crowding. These methods can include palate expansion or other means of increasing the amount of space available in the mouth. If this is not successful, or if it will not create sufficient room, extraction might be necessary to properly align the bite.

If you are concerned about having teeth extracted, your orthodontist will discuss this with you during an initial consultation. He will also provide explanations and suggestions for the best possible treatment for your teeth or those of your child. Be sure you are comfortable with the explanations for why teeth must be extracted if this approach is suggested.

How Braces Work

Braces use metal brackets and bands to gradually move the teeth into the proper position. The brackets are affixed to the surface of the teeth, and the bands are changed periodically to change the pressure on the teeth or the direction of the pressure. Typically, orthodontic treatment with braces takes a year or two. In some cases, treatment is performed in stages, with an early stage performed when the patient is younger and a later stage performed when more of the permanent teeth have arrived.

If you or your child has crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, or spaces between the teeth, please contact our office serving NYC to schedule a consultation. We’ll provide all the information you need to decide the best course of treatment.