Do I Need a Tooth Extraction Before Orthodontic Treatment?

Sometimes, orthodontic treatment does not start and end with an orthodontist’s office. Other specialists might be introduced to help the success of your treatment, especially when it means more invasive procedures. Our team at Moon Orthodontics has compiled some information to help you answer the question: “Do I need a tooth extraction before orthodontic treatment?”

Surgical vs. Simple

There are two main categories of tooth extractions: The first is a simple extraction, which is typically a more straightforward procedure. It pertains to the removal of teeth that are visible in the oral cavity and can be easily gripped with dental tools.

In contrast, a surgical extraction is a more intricate process that often necessitates an internal procedure, particularly when dealing with a tooth that is not readily accessible or situated towards the rear of the mouth. Qualified professionals, including dentists and oral surgeons, are relied upon for these more complex extractions. This collaborative approach involving dentists, oral surgeons, and orthodontists is a standard practice within our field.

Causes for Extraction 

In the context of orthodontic treatment, there are specific instances where recommending tooth extractions becomes necessary.

  • Crowding occurs when the jaw lacks sufficient space for proper alignment. Extracting one or more teeth can address this issue by creating the required space.
  • Protrusion is a common concern, particularly when the front teeth extend forward. In such cases, extraction serves to facilitate the correction of alignment.
  • Extractions can also be a solution for bite-related issues, including overbites (vertical overlap of front teeth) or overjets (horizontal protrusion of upper front teeth).
  • For impacted teeth that struggle to erupt properly, extraction may be recommended to allow other teeth to shift into their intended positions.

Tooth Extraction before Orthodontic Treatment

What To Expect in an Extraction

If a surgical extraction becomes necessary, we want to outline the general steps involved so that you know what to expect. It’s important to note that the specific details may vary depending on the unique aspects of the treatment, but this serves as a broad overview.

  1. Assessment/Consultation: Dr. Moon works with a specialist to decide if the extraction is needed, considering your medical history and potential anesthesia options.
  2. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia can be used to numb the extraction site, allowing you to retain full awareness during the procedure. Nitrous oxide can reduce stress without taking away your consciousness. When you consult with your providers, you will discuss the best option for your case.
  3. Incision: In order to access the tooth and its root structure, a short incision in the tissue near the tooth is often made.
  4. Tooth Extraction: Using specialized tools, your dentist will delicately loosen the tooth from its socket within the bone. The tooth may be extracted whole or divided into sections for a more seamless removal. In order to minimize bone loss, a bone graft may also be employed to preserve the ridge.
  5. Stitches: Self-dissolving stitches are used in many cases, like with the extraction of wisdom teeth.
  6. Post-Op Care: Your respective dental team will give you detailed post-procedure guidelines, usually encompassing instructions on oral hygiene, dietary limitations, and the use of cold compresses to reduce swelling. It is crucial to adhere closely to these instructions for a strong recovery.
  7. Recovery: Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications are employed by many patients to help manage the results of the procedure.

The Orthodontic Process

Now that we’ve covered how extractions work, we can talk about where an extraction falls over the process of orthodontic treatment.

  • Orthodontic Consultation: Extraction or not, this is always our first order of business! We use this time to assess your precise situation and treatment needs.
  • Planning: If Dr. Moon decides that an extraction will be a step in your treatment,  we will refer you to a qualified general dentist or oral surgeon to complete the removal.
  • Extraction Procedure: Following the steps outlined in the last section, the extraction is expertly performed. 
  • Orthodontic Treatment: After your extraction(s), your orthodontic treatment should resume or begin. Our work includes braces or other appliances needed to move your teeth into their corrected positions over time.
  • Follow-Up: Dr. Moon will monitor your advancement and make adjustments to your devices and plans as he sees fit.

Tooth Extraction before Orthodontic Treatment

Service You Can Trust

The potential need for an extraction might seem overwhelming, but it’s crucial to place your confidence in professionals such as our team and the other exceptional doctors we partner with! It’s important to note that extractions are routine procedures for dental experts, so there’s no need for undue anxiety. You can contact our Overland Park or Olathe offices at 913-782-7223 for more information!