Dear Dr. Kamel,
I went to see a dentist that offers discounted braces and he told me that I needed to have some of my teeth pulled before I could get braces. It really scares me to get my teeth pulled. Do I really need to have teeth extracted for braces? I am wondering if there is a difference between Invisalign and regular braces when there isn’t enough room in my mouth. Will Invisalign fix them without needing extractions?
I understand your concern. Why would you want to have teeth extracted for braces, much less when there is nothing wrong with them? Nobody does!
One of the conventional trains of thought was that if you don’t have enough space for your teeth – make space. This meant that your orthodontist or dentist would pull some of your teeth (usually some of the premolars) to make more room inside of your mouth to move the other teeth into space.
Is Tooth Extraction Necessary for Invisalign?
So, is tooth extraction necessary for Invisalign? With Invisalign, I do not usually recommend that you have any teeth pulled. Why? Because it creates additional problems like closing the spaces between your back teeth. It can also make you lose bone around your teeth, compromising the stability of your entire smile. Instead, we work with what we already have.
Nearly all of my Invisalign patients can have their teeth straightened without needing any type of extraction. Instead of trying to “force” your teeth into a different location, your Invisalign braces guide them all into alignment with one another.
Only a very small percentage of people actually require extractions, so there is a very good chance that you really don’t need them. These are usually only very severe cases.
If you’re one of the few people that do need an extraction, we can always start treatment first and reassess the situation a few months later to decide whether or not you still need the tooth to be pulled.
Emily, even though your dentist told you that you needed to have teeth extracted for braces, you owe it to yourself to get a 2nd opinion. Orthodontic extractions have been the topic of debate for years.
Very few people actually require them, and only in very significant situations. More than likely, you don’t need to have any teeth pulled before you straighten your teeth with Invisalign.
In fact, I’ve been able to complete Invisalign on many patients who have come to me with the very same concern that you do. Extractions are usually contraindicated for Invisalign altogether.
I would be more than happy to give you a second opinion regarding whether or not we can help you straighten your teeth without having to pull any of them. Please call my office to schedule a quick consult when you have a chance, and I can let you know what other options are available.