An unevenly distributed, cramped or gapped set of teeth can cause lots of trouble besides being far from aesthetical. They are more difficult to clean, making them prone to cavities, gum inflammation, while unbalanced loading can lead to bite abnormalities and joint disorders. Orthodontics can prevent all these future problems; yet, many are reluctant to start the procedure, due to a myth that equates orthodontics with tooth extractions, which is completely false.
The Process of Orthodontics in General
The first step of the procedure is always a panoramic X-ray, followed by making a mould of the teeth, and also photographing them, to be able to document changes in their position. After that, based on age, degree of abnormality and aesthetics, the patient and the specialist decide for the most suitable orthodontic appliance. Finally, the chosen appliance is placed, followed by regular check-ups and alignments for the length of the procedure, which usually lasts from 6 months to 2 years, in case of adults. Children and adolescent patients are generally treated for a shorter period of time with excellent results.
Orthodontics with Tooth Extraction
Tooth extractions when applying an orthodontic method are only required when some teeth are severely slanting, or in the case of supernumary teeth. These must be extracted before starting the procedure, to make room for the others in the jawbone to align evenly. Wisdom teeth are usually the main culprits in these cases, because they have a tendency to push the whole set of teeth forward, but any tooth can be a supernumary one. Without treatment, overbite, open bite and crossbite can be the unpleasant results.
If, based on the panoramic X-ray, the orthodontist recommends tooth extraction, it generally affects the 4th or 5th tooth from the centreline. The reason is simple: these teeth have only one root canal, making it easier to treat them in case of inflammation. The gap left behind by the extracted tooth is generally filled seamlessly by the remaining teeth by the end of the orthodontic procedure.
All in all, if the need for orthodontics arises, one should not worry about tooth extractions, simply because they are very rarely needed. If tooth extraction has to be performed, it is usually accompanied by only a little pain, and heals without any complications. The orthodontic procedure guarantees a beautiful, even smile, and also prevents unpleasant tooth and jawbone anomalies.