YES! You can have a beautiful smile without pulling teeth!
Traditionally, the way many dentists and orthodontists treated a patient with crooked or crowded teeth was to remove premolars. The space created relieved the crowding, and braces were used to pull the remaining teeth into the empty spaces.
We now know that this is not necessarily the best way to treat a patient for the best possible outcome. At McIntosh Dental, we believe utilising non-extraction techniques is the best way to create a beautiful, natural, and healthy smile for our patients, no matter their age.
Dr Milan Raniga is a strong advocate of non-extraction orthodontics. He studied under one of the leading specialists in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics, Dr Derek Mahony. Dr Mahony has studied and researched the benefits of early intervention orthodontic treatment for many years. After much research and analysis, including many conversations with other specialists in the dental profession, he has come up with a number of excellent and relevant reasons that non-extraction is preferable to a more traditional approach to orthodontic treatment.
1) OFTEN THE TEETH THAT ARE PULLED ARE HEALTHY AND FREE OF DECAY OR FILLINGS
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it – and this really should go for teeth as well! Why should something we have created and is healthy, be removed? Premolars are there for a reason. The function they serve is to tear and chew the food before the food is chewed by the molars. Without premolars, the canine (eye) teeth might be utilised instead and these may wear faster.
2) REMOVAL OF PREMOLARS CAN LEAD TO LESS ATTRACTIVE FACIAL FEATURES AND PROFILE
Unfortunately, one of the issues with removing teeth and then pulling the others back to fill the spaces is in the appearance of the patient. And as much as it shouldn’t matter, patients may feel less than happy with the shape of their face after their braces come off. Facial shapes can be flattened, including the cheekbones, lips can become thinner, and chins can have an undershot look. While this is not the only reason to opt for non-extraction, it may be a significant one for some people.
3) RETRACTING (PULLING TEETH BACK INTO A NEW POSITION) CAN MEAN A SMALLER SPACE FOR THE TONGUE
In many cases, the retraction of teeth to fill the spaces left from extracting the premolars, leaves a smaller space for the tongue to ‘sit’. It is then forced backward and can block the throat, creating a mouth breather. When this happens, the tongue sits on top of the bottom teeth, which can lead to re-crowding even years after the braces come off. This is not the fault of the orthodontist, or the retainer wire…but the poor tongue for not being able to do its job properly.
4) RETRACTING CAN INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD OF SNORING
Snoring can cause significant issues for both the person who snores and the people they live with. The retraction of teeth means there is less room in the mouth and when the person is asleep, the tongue often falls back into the throat, restricting airflow and creating the noise. Depending on the severity of the issue, a snorer may experience lack of sleep, less deep sleep, oxygen restriction, and the frustration of those in the house they’ve kept awake!
5) PEOPLE WHO SNORE ARE MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP SLEEP DISORDERS LIKE SLEEP APNOEA
Sleep apnoea can be devastating to a person’s health and wellbeing. Many people with sleep apnoea are undiagnosed and blame their consistent decline in health on a number of other circumstances. Both age and heredity can be factors, but regardless, the end results are invariably the same – a poor airway, poor oxygen exchange, poor rest at night – and these have long-term effects on overall health.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY DENTIST OR ORTHODONTIST RECOMMENDS HAVING TEETH REMOVED TO MAKE SPACE?
Get a second opinion. Your dentist or orthodontist is absolutely recommending the best treatment he/she knows to provide, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best treatment option available. Be open to choosing the best treatment based on the best possible care, and the best possible outcome for your long-term teeth, mouth, and overall health.
At McIntosh Dental we treat children from a younger age to help improve the way the jaws grow, making sure there is enough space for all the teeth to come through. In many cases, helping and supporting the correct or optimum growth of the jaws means the patient may avoid the need for braces altogether, or at least make the treatment faster and easier.
If you are concerned about the advice you’ve had on extraction, or you want to know more about our non-extraction philosophy, or you’re concerned about your child’s or your own teeth/mouth/jaw spacing, come in and see us for an initial consultation.
43 Lincoln Road, Henderson Auckland
09 837 2598