Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA
Many patients with orthodontic needs have teeth extracted before getting braces. An orthodontist or oral surgeon will make this choice because of existing overcrowding in the mouth, or to create additional space for teeth to straighten as the braces do their work and bring the teeth into proper alignment. However, advancements in dentistry have taught us that extracting teeth for the purpose of orthodontics is not always necessary!
At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we think that these extractions often are not necessary. A functional orthopedic approach, in many cases, can be more effective. Here is what the functional orthopedic approach means, and how it can help your child.
Using an oral appliance that is custom made to provide a perfect fit in the mouth of every patient, functional orthopedics address existing orthodontic issues by focusing on the posture of the jaw, head, and neck, while also treating the teeth, neck and facial muscles as an entire system.
These oral appliances bring the tongue and jaw into their ideal positions, mitigating any potential negative impact they are having on the alignment of the teeth. Functional therapy also brings the upper and lower arches into alignment. This approach is much better for your child’s growth and development. Plus, it spares them the discomfort and inconvenience of having to have multiple teeth extracted.
Extracting teeth before braces are applied may sound like a good idea, and it certainly happens on a regular basis, but these extractions can cause issues later in life. Anytime a healthy tooth is removed from the mouth, even one that is crowded, it can alter the growth of the face as well as the jaw. This change in facial growth is referred to as “long face syndrome,” as the face elongates until it actually begins to collapse. It results in an unfavorable look to the patient’s face and profile.
Oral appliance therapy also can resolve some of the potential consequences after an orthodontic treatment is complete. These issues can include, but are not limited to, receding gums, head or neck pain, trouble breathing, and an increased propensity to develop temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ). The problem with these issues is that they only get worse with time, especially if they are not treated properly. Having extractions now could mean that your teen develops one of these issues later in life, opening Pandora’s box for a host of other health problems and costly treatments.
Thankfully, there is a better way! At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we focus on treating our orthodontic patients with a different, yet better approach than what you will find at a traditional orthodontist office. If your teen needs braces, and has been recommended that teeth be extracted first, we urge you to come and visit us in Scotts Valley for a consultation.
To learn more about functional appliances and our entire orthopedic program, contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry at (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation.
Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry serves patients located in the California communities of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.