Why is a tooth extraction necessary during some orthodontic treatments?

tooth extraction

Orthodontic treatments focus mainly on aligning the teeth, correcting the position, improving the appearance of the teeth and promoting the health of the teeth, gums as well as bite issues. This type of procedure is best suited when children are developing their teeth and the position of the jaws and teeth is being laid out. But adults also can use this treatment to improve oral and dental health.

This treatment involves preparatory and diagnosing work in which dental examinations are conducted. Dentists use X-rays to understand the jaw structure, how dental development is progressing and also the position of the teeth on the jaws. There are different types of orthodontic devices available from simple braces to invisible braces. The type of device is decided after dental consultation and discussions with the person who comes for treatment. The focus is on promoting the oral/dental health of the person.


When is a tooth extraction necessary?

The following are some situations when a tooth extraction is considered necessary.

Dental decay

The main reason for tooth extraction is dental diseases. This can be due to tooth decay or gum diseases. Prior to deciding on orthodontic treatment, dental consultations are done. This helps to check the position of the teeth and the dental health.

Dentists check if there is tooth decay in any of the teeth. They will suggest the removal of these decayed/damaged teeth as oral health will be compromised if they are left without any treatment. Tooth decay when unchecked can spread to neighbouring teeth, and this can be avoided through the extraction of the damaged tooth. Then the orthodontic treatment can proceed.

Gum diseases

Another situation that requires tooth extraction is gum disease. This infection proceeds when there is plaque/tartar formation at the base of the tooth affecting the surrounding gum lining. The infection affects the lining and they get inflamed.

When the infection in the gums progresses unchecked, the gum lining loses the support-giving feature. The damage in the gum lining can also cause the teeth to shift their position thereby altering the position of the teeth. In these cases, dentists will recommend treating the gum disease as well as checking on the position of the teeth.

Lack of space or overcrowding

Many have the issue of overcrowding of teeth or too many teeth. This will result in a lack of space in the mouth/gums to support the teeth. When teeth do not have enough space to occupy, they push or slide against each other and overcrowd the available space. This situation can lead to tooth decay as the space between the teeth cannot be cleaned easily and there are high chances of decay.

Orthodontic treatment is all about correcting the alignment of the teeth, where there is overcrowding of teeth, dentists will suggest a tooth extraction. This will allow the removal of ‘extra teeth’ and the remaining teeth can have more space in the jawline.

Bite issues

There are different types of bite problems – some have overbite issues while some have underbite issues or open bite issues. In both cases, the alignment of both jaws is affected and there will also be associated speech problems, difficulty in chewing food, and facial structure is affected among others.

With bite issues, the age of the person is also considered when tooth extraction is planned. In children, dentists have more options such as jaw expanders or braces that help with alignment. Some children will need only behaviour modification techniques to correct their bite issues. One such situation is thumb sucking habit among children and related bite issues. But if the issue is corrected after the oral and dental development is completed, to set right the bite issues, the dentist will recommend tooth extraction and related procedures.

Teeth which are fully grown

Orthodontic treatment procedures are planned to correct tooth alignment and appearance as well as promote oral and dental health in the process. Tooth extraction is not performed in all orthodontic treatments; it is only conducted when inevitable. The reason for extraction is to obtain optimal results that are planned through the treatment. In certain cases, the teeth will be fully formed, they will not be shifting their position. This can sometimes result in overcrowding of the teeth as well.


Tooth extraction procedure

Removing teeth is usually done at dental clinics. Orthodontists who recommend tooth extraction might refer to general dentists for this procedure. This is done in the same way as other tooth extractions. These extractions can happen during or before the procedure, and depends on the condition and the assessment results of each person. Tooth extraction is a simple procedure and is conducted under local anaesthesia. After extraction, slight pain will be felt when the effect of anaesthesia wears off. Dentists will provide analgesics and antibiotics to ward off any infection. The remaining procedures will be planned after proper healing.

Orthodontic treatments provide many benefits. The most important benefit is the improvement that can be seen visibly. The appearance of the person who undergoes this treatment is greatly altered; the facial structure of the person is also altered. The important benefit that this treatment provides is the overall oral and dental health of the person. The chances of tooth decay/damage are greatly reduced, with teeth being able to have correct alignment and position which allows proper and easy cleaning. Tartar/plaque build-up is greatly reduced as teeth can be cleaned properly and food debris does not get stuck between the teeth.

Every orthodontic treatment is planned after an extensive examination of the dental makeup of the person. Each person will have different needs and the best-suited procedure will depend on the oral and dental health of the person and also the requirement of the person. What procedure is best suited for the situation, and whether it will help improve dental health are important considerations before the treatment is planned.


In conclusion, when you go for an orthodontic treatment, don’t get surprised if a tooth extraction is recommended. This is done to facilitate the best results for orthodontic treatment.

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