Orthodontic treatments are performed to straighten teeth or move them so the appearance and functioning of the teeth can be improved. Along with functioning and appearance, these treatments can also be used to improve the overall oral health of the patient.
Sometimes a tooth extraction becomes absolutely necessary to ensure dental and oral health. The dentist considers every option available and only proceeds for extraction when nothing else works. Many patients experience anxiety as they are afraid of the extraction procedure. However, when this procedure is performed by a qualified dentist, it becomes easy to tolerate and proceed smoothly without any friction.
The dentist will only recommend tooth extraction if the teeth of the patient have any of the following conditions.
1. Overcrowded teeth
When the jaw is simply not large enough to hold all the teeth, the teeth start to merge into each other in odd positions. It can stop the teeth from growing in a straight structure.
Overcrowding can be of three major classes: mild, moderate, or severe. When one or two teeth from either the upper jaw or lower jaw overlap each other, it is called mild overcrowding. Similarly, when two to three teeth overlap, it is called moderate overcrowding. When most of the teeth from the upper or lower jaw overlap, it is called severe overcrowding.
There are various reasons for the overcrowding of teeth. Genetics is the most common reason. Some people are born with jaws that are not large enough and some are born with jaws that are too small to contain teeth. Also, if someone loses a primary tooth during infancy or childhood, chances are that other teeth will shift over that vacant space and cause overcrowding.
When orthodontic treatment is performed on such teeth, it is possible that the results will not be satisfactory. So, to get good results and to avoid complications, overcrowded teeth are removed for the best results of the orthodontic treatment.
2. Extra teeth
Some people are born with extra teeth which may interfere with the working of various orthodontic treatments like braces. These extra teeth can also make the teeth adjust into weird shapes as they create pressure due to lack of space.
Teeth that are too large or small, sharply edged teeth, teeth in an awkward position, etc. are preferably removed as they cause most complications. The space created by removing these teeth is filled by shifting the other teeth into that space with the help of braces.
Some people have teeth, usually, front teeth, that are protruded to the outside of the mouth which gives the face an unpleasant appearance. It can also cause speech difficulties.
This protrusion is fixed by removing overcrowded teeth at the back of the mouth. After the removal of those teeth, the front teeth can easily be fixed with the help of braces.
4. Bacterial growth
Excessive crowding can cause plaque build-up in the teeth. This bacterial growth can damage the teeth and the teeth become unable to tolerate the pressure of braces or Invisalign. In such cases, cases where the decay has advanced too much, the dentist will recommend teeth extraction. The vacant space is filled with healthy teeth with the help of braces.
5. Underbite, overbite, and open bite
Overlapping of lower teeth over top teeth is called an underbite. It is a result of jaw misalignment. An overbite happens when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth. Overbite must be corrected before opting for braces. This is also caused due to jaw misalignment.
For effective results, all these teeth conditions must be fixed before proceeding with orthodontic treatments. For this purpose, such teeth are extracted.
Underbite and overbite can also contribute to unpleasant facial structure. Whereas, a severe overbite can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.
Sometimes a dentist will recommend tooth extraction just to improve your facial structure and enhance your smile. Teeth extraction is no fun process and requires skill and knowledge. So the dentist will recommend it only if he sees some serious issue in your facial structure like protrusion, jaw bone misalignment, etc. which can give the face an unpleasant appearance.
The extraction procedure
Extraction is performed by a general dentist or oral surgeon in the clinic. Teeth may be extracted prior to orthodontic treatment or during the treatment. Most of the time, teeth are extracted prior to the procedure as it gives teeth the time to heal slightly. After a few days or weeks, the teeth can be made to shift over the vacant space and can be realigned with the help of braces.
During the procedure, the tooth which is to be removed is loosened with the help of an elevator. Then a force is used to pull out the tooth. This procedure is followed in simple dental extraction. In a surgical extraction, the jaw bone and bone socket are given a shot of anaesthesia. Then, an elevator and forceps are used to loosen the grip of the bone socket over the tooth. The tooth is then pulled out.
Just like any other complex dental procedure, teeth extraction is reputed to be painful. However, that is not the case as the procedure involves numbing the operative area with the help of local anaesthesia. After removal of the tooth, the area will be stitched back with the help of tiny sutures which dissolve within a week or can be removed in the next week.
It is possible that the patient feels pain when the anaesthesia wears off. For this purpose, pain-relieving medications are provided. Patients are advised not to eat crunchy or brittle foods post-procedure and are also advised to rinse mouths with saltwater and antiseptic mouthwashes. This is done to keep the mouth clean and help the mouth heal faster from the procedure. A specialized oral syringe is also provided sometimes.
Once the vacant space in the mouth heals fully and the patient no longer experiences pain and discomfort, the dentist can proceed with the orthodontic procedure.
The vacant space created is filled up by other healthy teeth which are shifted towards the vacant hole with the help of orthodontic treatments.