Reichheld Ting Orthodontics is your standard for orthodontic care, and a big part of that is making sure that you get to live life smiling all the time. We know that nothing can put a damper on one of our awesome Acton, Billerica, Lowell, and Westford patients’ smiles faster than the thought of potentially having to deal with a tooth extraction! EEK! Nobody likes to think about that!
However, there are definitely certain times when the best thing for your smile or the smile of your child will be going ahead and looking into extraction therapy with orthodontics. That being said, let’s make sure that we know all about it going in! What is extraction therapy? How can it help my smile? How is it different from non-extraction therapy?
What is Extraction Therapy?
First things first – what even is extraction therapy? Well, as the name suggests, extraction therapy is a way of treating serious malocclusions (a fancy word for “bad bites”) or crowding, where the most healthy thing to do for the patient is to remove one or more of the offending teeth.
At RTO, we do extraction therapy with anywhere from one to four teeth being removed, depending on a number of different factors. These include the severity of the malocclusion, the size of the dental arches, the relationship between the jaws, and how much available space there is for tooth movement. We carefully evaluate these factors and consider the overall facial profile and what you need for a healthy bite before recommending extraction as a treatment option.
Some patients voluntarily elect for extraction therapy if they believe their lips are protrusive or “full” and want a more aesthetic facial profile.
Other times, extraction therapy is the only way to get the teeth aligned and the bite fixed in a healthy way without pushing the teeth past the natural boundaries of their jaw bones.
At Reichheld Ting Orthodontics, if we think you or your child need extraction therapy with orthodontics, we will work with you to carefully weigh all of the options and plan together what treatment path will give us the best, healthiest result possible.
How About Non-Extraction Therapy?
So on the flip side, non-extraction therapy involves any number of different therapeutic options that do not ultimately result in the removal of a tooth or teeth. Instead, in non-extraction therapy, we’ll focus on utilizing your existing space within the dental arches and employing various techniques to create additional room for tooth movement. That way, you get the best smile possible and the healthiest bite without having to get rid of any teeth.
You’re a perfect candidate for non-extraction therapy in the event that you have the following:
Mild to moderate crowding:
Non-extraction therapy is perfect in the event that the degree of crowding is manageable and can be effectively addressed without the need for tooth removal. In that case, we’ll use standard orthodontic appliances, like braces or aligners, to gradually shift your teeth into their proper positions within the available space.
A well-balanced facial profile:
Non-extraction therapy is almost always going to be the way to go if your facial profile is already harmonious and balanced. In such cases, Dr. Reichheld (one of them!) or Dr. Ting will aim to maintain the natural proportions of your face without altering the tooth-to-lip relationship significantly. Lucky You!
Favorable jaw relationships and functional bite:
Non-extraction therapy is much more feasible in the event that the relationship between your upper and lower jaws is well-aligned and your bite is relatively stable and functional. This means that your teeth fit together properly when the jaws are closed, and you aren’t dealing with any significant issues with chewing or speaking.
My Doctor Recommended an Extraction – What Now?
Good question! Sometimes, circumstances are such that an extraction just makes sense – but no worries! Our team will refer you to the right specialist and work with them to make sure everything is communicated appropriately so you have the best experience possible!
Modern extraction therapy techniques focus on minimizing the invasiveness of the procedure. Orthodontists now employ a conservative approach, preserving as much dental tissue as possible while achieving the desired results. Minimally invasive extraction techniques reduce trauma to surrounding tissues, promote faster healing, and enhance patient comfort throughout the treatment process. That means that even if extraction is the best option for you, you won’t have to worry about excessive discomfort or any resulting orthodontic issues from the missing tooth!
Are You Ready to Smile?
Now that you’ve learned all about the differences between extraction and non-extraction therapy (great job, by the way!), all that’s left is to give us a call or fill out this form to schedule your free consultation today!
Whether you’re concerned about a potential problem tooth, want to learn more about the latest orthodontic treatments, or just need a reliable family orthodontist for everyone, Reichheld Ting has you covered! Patients in Acton, Lowell, Billerica, and Westford love us (just read some of our reviews!), and we can’t wait to show you why! Let’s get started on the smile of a lifetime together!