The process of having a brace fitted is different for every patient. There’s obviously a great deal of variety in the type of brace and associated teeth realignment treatment you choose to have, but the path of your orthodontic process will also be very dependent on your individual teeth.
Some patients need to undergo teeth extraction before their brace can be fitted. This is more usual for younger patients who may not yet have lost all of their primary (baby) teeth.
Most people start to lose their baby teeth when they are six or seven years old, but some teeth can stick around for much longer, or may not even fall out by themselves at all. In these cases your orthodontist may recommend extracting those teeth before a brace is fitted in order to give the rest of the teeth the best chance at an ideal alignment.
Less common is the extraction of permanent (adult) teeth. However, in some cases this may be necessary for successful orthodontic treatment. There are four main occasions when your orthodontist is likely to suggest the extraction of permanent teeth:
If there simply isn’t space for all of your teeth to sit comfortably in your mouth, it may be necessary to remove some.
Overbites and underbites are generally caused by a mismatch in the size of your upper and lower jaw. Teeth extraction can help to address this.
3. Extra teeth
Not everyone has the same number of teeth. Some people have extra ones, and this can cause problems with alignment.
The position of your teeth will affect how your lips sit. If your teeth are protruding outwards, you may be advised to have some removed in order to make repositioning possible.
If your orthodontist thinks it’s necessary for you to have teeth extracted before your brace is fitted, they will talk you through why this is and exactly what will happen.
For more information about the teeth realignment process, read our post on what happens at an orthodontic consultation.