A fear of many potential orthodontic patients is tooth extraction. The idea sounds scary, intimidating, and for some, downright off-putting. At Foley Orthodontics, we genuinely understand that fear. It can be freaky to think of someone pulling out something vital to your well-being! We want to reassure you that tooth extraction is entirely safe, and with the right doctor, it won’t be frightening at all! We want to give you a realistic idea of the whens, whys, and hows of extraction therapy so that you can feel confident at the orthodontist whether you need it or not!
What Is Extraction Therapy?
In short, extraction therapy is the removal of teeth! Please don’t let that scare you; the extractions are not painful, save for discomfort after the fact! Your doctor will numb the area using a local anesthetic, so you won’t feel a thing!
Extraction therapy is rare but necessary for some patients. Examples of situations where extractions might be considered include patients with too many teeth, patients with mouths too small to adequately accommodate all the teeth, or patients with abnormally large or shaped teeth that disturb the placement of other teeth.
If you need an extraction, Dr. Foley will refer you to a dentist or oral surgeon for the outpatient procedure. Once healed, you will return to Dr. Foley for alignment therapy (a.k.a. braces)!
What Is Non-Extraction Therapy?
Fortunately, most orthodontic cases do not require extraction therapy. Most patients can achieve the smile of their dreams with braces without additional equipment or procedures.
Patients needing extra assistance creating their perfect smile but do not require extraction therapy might qualify for a palate expander or a different procedure that adds bone to the palate.
A palate expander does exactly as it sounds: it widens the dental palate and makes room for teeth to shift into a better alignment. The palate expander is most commonly used on children because their jaws are still developing and more susceptible to this treatment. This appliance helps children’s teeth and facial structure develop with minimal issues. (Though this does not guarantee that they won’t need braces at a later date.)
The bone addition procedure is a surgical procedure commonly done on adult patients. It is also used to widen the palate and make space for all the teeth. Adults might also opt for an approach that shifts the teeth backward, known as distalization, to make way for teeth adjustments.
How Do I Know Which Treatment Is Right For Me?
The only way to know which treatment is best for you is to see an orthodontist, like Dr. Foley, for a thorough examination. He will X-ray and digitally scan your teeth for a detailed look inside your mouth. He would never recommend a tooth extraction without observing the bigger picture!
Benefits Of Straight Teeth
To help you feel motivated to make your first visit to the orthodontist or to have your teeth extracted, we want to list some benefits of straightening your teeth that will give you something to look forward to when it’s all over!
Easier to maintain oral hygiene
Overcrowding creates hard-to-reach nooks and crannies that allow bacteria and food to build up. Over time, these hidden threats could cause bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, infections, and other issues. If left untreated, oral health concerns can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums, including (but not limited to) tooth loss! Extraction therapy and braces can make your oral hygiene routine quicker and less frustrating, allowing you better oral health.
The pain that mispositioned teeth can create in the jaw can also spread to your neck and head. Abnormal jaw function or other bite issues can lead to migraines and TMJ, an uncomfortable condition that stems from your jaw being unable to open and close correctly.
All issues caused by or linked to poor oral health have the potential to cause varying degrees of discomfort and pain. Luckily, you can avoid most of these conditions and minimize their symptoms with appropriate dental and orthodontic care, like proper oral hygiene, extraction, a palate expander, and braces.
Prevents digestive issues
Your mouth is the body’s first stop in the digestive process, and problems can create digestive issues! Misaligned teeth can make chewing food more difficult. The main job of your teeth is to break down food before swallowing. Inadequately chewed food can promote choking, indigestion, bloating, constipation, and intestinal gas. Bad breath and heartburn are also side effects of a struggling digestive system.
Orthodontic care can align your teeth and jaw to make eating a more comfortable, pleasant experience.
Learn More At Foley Orthodontics!
There are plenty of other benefits to orthodontic care and more situations when extraction therapy and non-extraction therapy are helpful, but you might get bored if we tried to list them all right here. To find out how and what orthodontic work can change your smile for the better, come to Foley Orthodontics today!
We offer free consultations for new patients, so you can discover what you need without the pressure of starting right away.
Dr. Foley and his team hope to see you soon!