As orthodontists, our job is always to set you up for the best results possible. Sometimes, this means additional procedures like an extraction to remove teeth that might be causing problems. Today, our team at Windy City Orthodontics will help you answer the question: “Do I need a tooth extraction before orthodontic treatment?”
Simple and Surgical
In dentistry, there are two primary types of extractions. A simple extraction is generally more straightforward, as it involves teeth that are visible in the mouth and can be easily grasped with dental instruments.
On the other hand, a surgical extraction is a more intricate process and often requires an internal procedure, especially when a tooth is not easily accessible or located in the back of the mouth. Dentists and oral surgeons are qualified to perform these more complex extractions. This collaborative approach involving dentists, oral surgeons, and orthodontists is a common practice in our field.
Reasons for Extraction
In terms of orthodontic treatment, there are some specific reasons we might recommend an extraction.
- Crowding is when there’s not enough space present in the jaw for proper alignment. Extraction of one or more teeth can help provide the necessary space.
- Protrusion is a common problem, especially where the front teeth are protruding forward. That’s another situation where extraction enables corrected alignment.
- Extractions can be a remedy for bite issues. This applies to overbites (vertical overlap of the front teeth) or overjets (horizontal protrusion of the upper front teeth).
- Impacted teeth that are unable to erupt properly might need to be removed via extraction to make room for other teeth to shift into their desired positions.
What To Expect in an Extraction
In case you end up needing a surgical extraction, we want to provide you with some of the general steps a dentist would take in this type of procedure. Of course, it will vary depending on the individual treatment, but this is a good overview.
- Assessment/Consultation: A dental professional will assess the necessity of the procedure in conversation with Dr. Pakravan, taking into account your medical history, x-rays, and potential anesthesia options.
- Anesthesia: Various options are available, including local anesthesia to numb the extraction area, allowing you to stay fully aware during the procedure. Alternatively, IV Sedation or Nitrous Oxide can induce drowsiness while maintaining awareness. The choice will be discussed and determined in advance during consultation with your doctor.
- Incision: A small incision in the gum tissue near the tooth may be made to access the tooth and its root structure.
- Tooth Extraction: Employing specialized instruments, your dentist will gently loosen the tooth from its socket in the bone. The tooth may be removed in one piece or divided into sections for a smoother extraction. To reduce bone loss, they may also use a bone graft to preserve the ridge.
- Stitches: In certain cases, such as with wisdom teeth, self-dissolving stitches may be utilized.
- Post-Op Care: Your dentist’s team will provide you with comprehensive post-procedure instructions, typically covering oral hygiene practices, dietary restrictions, and the application of cold compresses to alleviate swelling. It’s critical to follow these guidelines closely.
- Recovery: In the subsequent days, you may use pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to manage pain and swelling, with the possibility of mild bleeding.
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: This will always be our first step, in which we assess your specific needs and take x-rays to develop a treatment plan.
- Planning: If Dr. Pakravan determines an extraction is necessary for a successful treatment, we will refer you to an awesome general dentist or oral surgeon to complete the extraction. We will also send a copy of the necessary records directly to the dentist or oral surgeon to save you the trouble.
- Extraction Procedure: This will be performed by the chosen professional, following the steps outlined in the previous section.
- Orthodontic Treatment: Following your extraction(s), you will return to our office to initiate or continue your treatment with us. This means braces, aligners, or other appliances to move your teeth into their desired positions.
- Follow-Up: Throughout your treatment, we will monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed to ensure its success.
Service You Can Trust
The prospect of an extraction can be intimidating, but it’s important to trust professionals like our team and the other exceptional doctors we work with! Remember that extractions are routine procedures for these experts and, therefore, shouldn’t inspire too much anxiety. You can call our Chicago office at 773-207-3305 to schedule a free consultation.