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Braces

Tooth extraction to correct overbite/crowding

08/03/2006

Question:

My son is 12 years old and has been wearing braces for a year now. His orthodontist told me that they would have to remove 2 of his upper permanent teeth (#5 and 12) to correct his overbite.

My question is, will his other teeth move to fill up the gaps that these two teeth will leave behind? I am worried about him having gaps in the front of his teeth and removing his permanant teeth worry me. Is this a common practice.

His orthodontist said since he is so active in all types of sports, the teeth extraction would be a better option for him versus him wearing head gear or appliances.

Answer:

Certainly the extraction of two upper teeth is a practice used by orthodontists. What you said in the last statement concerns me, that this is an "option to headgear and braces". It is an option to headgear but NOT to braces.

Orthodontic appliances ( braces) are needed to control the extraction sites so there will be no remaining spaces. I suggest you confirm this with your orthodontist, who I assume limits his/her practice to orthodontics alone.

If that is not the case, contact the American Association of Orthodontists at 451 N. Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO. 63141 for the name of a trained orthodontic specialist in your area or call 1-800-424-2481 with your postal code and they will help you select one.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University