LAST UPDATED: MAY 29, 2018
Are there alternatives to having teeth removed for braces?
If you have ever had to have a tooth pulled for any reason, you already know why so many orthodontic patients are keen to avoid this experience in their treatment!
In fact, this is one of the first questions many nervous new orthodontic patients have. “Will I have to have any teeth pulled?” The moment they ask this question, it is easy to see they are hoping to hear a resounding, “No!”
But the truth tends to fall somewhere in between. A variety of factors can influence the best treatment approach, including the patient’s age, the degree of tooth overcrowding, other issues (such as bite asymmetry) that need attention, whether dental surgery is an option and similar considerations.
In this article, let’s take a closer look at the orthodontic treatment alternatives available to minimize or avoid the need for tooth extraction.
What Is The Damon System of Braces?
One of the most popular new types of orthodontic treatment is called The Damon System. This system has a proven ability to deliver optimal results in shorter treatment times with no need for tooth extraction.
The Damon System can be applied with traditional metal or clear hardware with optional colors for young patients who wish it. This lightweight, yet powerful, system is simple and streamlined to minimize discomfort and treatment duration.
What Is The Invisalign System of Aligners?
The Invisalign System offers a complete alternative to the use of braces for orthodontic treatment. Instead of metal or clear hardware, Invisalign turns to a series of clear aligners that are similar to mouth guards or retainers. They are slim, lightweight, fully removable for cleaning or special occasions and easy to use.
Invisalign is available for teen and adult patients. Except in cases where there is damage to a tooth that makes it unsalvageable (such as severe decay) or in situations of extreme tooth overcrowding at a later age, Invisalign typically minimizes the need for tooth extraction.
Similar to how the Damon System works, Invisalign aligners can actually help to expand the jaw. By placing pressure strategically on the jaw and tooth system itself, the aligners can help encourage the jaw to grow new bone and thus make room for teeth affected by overcrowding. This can eliminate the need to extract any teeth.
What Is Tooth Slimming?
Tooth slimming is another orthodontic technique that can help to minimize or avoid the need for extracting teeth. Sometimes, the reason why teeth are crowded in the mouth has to do with jaw size, and sometimes it has more to do with tooth size.
In the cases where teeth width is contributing to overcrowding, it is often possible to slim down the responsible teeth by shaving minimal portions from each side. This can give all teeth more room to grow in comfortably without having to extract any teeth.
What is most important to understand about this is that tooth slimming typically occurs over time anyway as the patient ages. Just the process of chewing, brushing, flossing and other activities will cause the type of tooth friction that can aid in slimming.
But sometimes natural slimming is still not enough or there isn’t an option to wait until it happens naturally and still achieve orthodontic treatment results. In these cases, manual tooth slimming is a good second choice to avoid tooth extraction.
What Is A Palate Expander?
For younger patients (aged 16 or younger), a palate expander can often provide a smooth path to avoid tooth extraction. The palate expander works to widen the palate before it hardens into place (which commonly happens around age 16). This makes room for teeth to grow in without as much risk of overcrowding.
Will I Need Dental Surgery?
For patients who are quite averse to tooth extraction regardless of need, sometimes dental surgery can achieve the same results. Dental surgery is, of course, invasive in a different way, but it also avoids some of the unknowns that extracting a tooth can create.
In most cases, dental surgery will have one of two aims: to either move the top row of teeth back in the mouth or to move the bottom row of teeth forward.
What Are Temporary Anchoring Device (TAD)?
Finally, the TAD is yet another option to potentially bypass tooth extraction. This technique secures one or more critical teeth in place using a small implant under the gemlike.
With the help of these implants, it becomes easier to control jaw alignment and ease overcrowding issues into adulthood.
Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, Dr. Bill Schmohl and Dr. Sona Bekmezian are the team behind the “WOW Smile” that Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics has become known for. As a Top 1% Provider (Aligntech) and #1 Marin Country Orthodontic practice, Drs. Gorton, Schmohl and Bekmezian focus on so much more than just your appearance goals. They bring to bear the very latest in cutting-edge orthodontic treatment in identifying how to deliver optimal oral health and a white, straight smile with the least treatment time and cost.
All three orthodontists are board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. As a team, they are each and all together innovators who are active on the front lines of research, as well as teaching and mentoring the next generation of orthodontic practitioners and giving back to the community.
In Marin County, Calif., you can visit Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics to have an examination and treatment from these professionals:
• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl
• Dr. Jeff Nichelini
An orthodontist will discuss orthodontic options with you to repair problems such as crowded teeth, crossbites or overbites. Depending on your malocclusions, you can wear one of these devices:
• Braces with colors
• Traditional or Damon Clear
We also offer WowSmiles and Acceledent options to our orthodontic patients. Schedule an appointmentby calling 415-459-8006 today.
Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle,Suite 200 Larkspur CA 94939 Tel: (415)-459-8006
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, a Bay Area native, graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor degrees in both Integrative Biology and Social Sciences and then went on to graduate from Harvard with honors for her Doctorate in Dental Medicine.
She continued her education at UCSF with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Growth and Development, followed by an Orthodontic Residency with a Master of Science in Oral Biology.
She is Board Certified in Orthodontics. She received the American Association of Orthodontics Award for Craniofacial Research and the Harvard Odontological Society Award for Excellence in Research. Her work on preventing decay around braces has been published in the American Journal of Orthodontics.