Given the choice, the Toronto dental professionals of Oasis Dental will avoid extracting teeth whenever possible. Fortunately, pulling teeth has never been less necessary at any point in dentistry and orthodontics than it is today.
Non-Extraction Braces(such as ALF Orthodontics, Functional Jaw Orthopedics FJO combined with traditional braces or FJO combined with Invisalign or Smile Tru) approach for correcting improperly positioning teeth literally from a new direction. Instead of focusing on the lower jaw’s positioning, which is often the direct culprit, these more accommodating, less conspicuous appliances concentrate on directing the upper jaw and teeth. The advancements allowing dentists and orthodontists to entirely sidestep extractions consequently also forego a process that makes way for braces that may promote healthy and functional bites, but leave behind a hefty price to pay.
A dentist or orthodontist’s first directive doesn’t differ at all from any other health care provider’s: first, do no harm. That doesn’t mean we expect every procedure to go off with absolutely no discomfort. It does compel us to embrace measures that ensure our patients endure no more discomfort than necessary.
Non-Extraction Braces are an answer to decades of orthodontic technique knowing few alternatives to the realities of braces and head gear: these were the surest means of correcting crowded, crooked teeth in short order, and preparation for braces made removing problematic teeth unavoidable. Today, modern innovations have made the permanent prices paid by the entire facial structure almost entirely avoidable by using Functional Jaw orthopedics in combination with traditional braces (aka. ALF orthodontics).
The prelude to “traditional” fixed orthodontics typically includes creating space into which teeth can come together by pulling premolars. This indeed creates space, but teeth don’t move equally. Since the back teeth are more strongly supported at their roots, they don’t move forward into the vacant spaces as much as the front teeth move back.
As time goes on, both front and back teeth begin to tilt. The back teeth tip inward and the front teeth tip inward and back. This reaction to the repositioning has unwanted side-effects all its own:
Healthy lips tend to have a slight upper pout, in part because the upper lip extends slightly forward. That’s because the upper teeth and jaw bone are providing needed support. As teeth adjust after extractions, shifts in that support can cause the upper lip to droop straight down. “Rabbited-back” angling of the front teeth makes upper and lower lip support impossible to maintain.
Nevertheless, these are only the cosmetic drawbacks to undergoing extraction. Removal of teeth can often cause increased clenching and grinding of teeth growing into a lower jaw that may already be pushed back to an uncomfortably unnatural degree. Based on studies, 50-90% of pre-orthodontic kids have a TMJ disc displacement that is usually overlooked by most practitioners. The pre-existing TMJ disc displacement can be exacerbate and the ongoing pressure frequently instigates headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, and eventually prematurely worn, broken teeth.
Non-Extraction Braces, ALF orthodontics, and Functional Jaw Orthopedics validate that there has always been literally a whole other half to making healthy adjustments to permanent teeth. By focusing on the upper jaw and lower jaw development, many patients’ extractions are limited ultimately to wisdom teeth.
When teeth of the correct natural size grow into a constricted upper jaw, the result is the kind of crowding that makes extractions and braces necessary. When dentists and orthodontists want to avoid pulling teeth, we make room through the much easier, gentler process of expanding the upper and lower jaw bones to make sufficient room for the permanent teeth to erupt into the arch perimeter. This allows for not only healthy, sturdy teeth that fill in the corners of a smile instead of the blank voids extractions leave behind, but physiologically stronger lip support.
We can accomplish all of that without crowding the lower jaw or pushing it backward. In fact, the lower jaw receives improved support and even relief from painful clenching and grinding due to unnatural TMJ pressure. That, in turn, means fewer headaches, earaches, and other chronic pains. Meanwhile, patients experience not only enhanced aesthetics, but dramatically improved lower-jaw stability and functionality. In the end, teeth end up where Nature means for muscles to support them and get there without painful extractions.
It bears repeating: extractions are often entirely unnecessary. That being said, removal of non-wisdom teeth is sometimes unavoidable. Please, contact us today to schedule an appointment that could determine whether you could be a candidate for non-extraction braces.