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Non-extraction Orthodontics: What are they & are They Right for You?

Non-extraction orthodontics are designed to straighten a person’s teeth without “extraction” aka removing any of the person’s teeth. This straightening method allows the person to retain all of their teeth without the need to remove teeth due to crowding, disease or trauma.

Extraction has long been a contentious issue in the dental community, as dentists and orthodontists continue to disagree as to whether it is necessary to remove any teeth for straightening.

Removing healthy teeth for the sake of straightening is always something that begs the question: is there a healthier alternative?

This is where the idea of braces without extractions comes into play. Let’s take a look at this less-invasive teeth straightening method and if it may be the right option for you:

How does it work?

For patients with overcrowded smiles there are generally two options:

  • Extraction: Remove one or multiple teeth to create space for orthodontics, or;
  • Non-extraction: Expand the arch which allows more room for the teeth and therefore the orthodontics.

Arch expansion is designed to help patients achieve a bigger smile whilst allowing for orthodontics to be added. Arch expansion can help as the typical cause of crowded teeth is an underdeveloped jaw as opposed to the patient having teeth that are too big. This alone has the potential to make arch expansion with non-extraction a more logical option as it is not the teeth themselves that are causing the crowding.

Why opt for non-extraction orthodontics?

Non-extraction orthodontics are designed to provide straightening without removing any healthy teeth. More recently, tooth extraction has been seen as the last option when it comes to orthodontics as, naturally, the ideal option would be to keep as many teeth as possible when having them straightened.

With the use of functional appliances, facial profile improvement has been a consistent winner when it comes to non-extraction orthodontics.

What are the benefits of non-extraction?

Non-extraction comes with a host of potential benefits that makes it more advanced than its extraction counterpart.

Potential non-extraction benefits include:

  • Reduced time with braces: Extraction can leave gaps in the teeth that your remaining teeth might try and fill. In attempting to compensate for the missing tooth/teeth, the time taken to wear the braces becomes longer, as the teeth need extra time to fill the void.

    With non-extraction orthodontics, your teeth don’t have to work to fill any void, thus creating a situation where the orthodontics only have to complete their designated job of straightening the teeth as opposed to waiting for the gap to be filled.
  • Reduced risk of bone erosion & receding gums: Extraction orthodontics have long been associated with risks such as bone erosion and receding gums.

    With non-extraction orthodontics, these risks are largely reduced, with the patient only having to think about the job at hand – straightening the teeth.
  • Less invasive treatment: Everyone who has ever had extraction orthodontics will tell you this: it can be quite unpleasant. Extraction orthodontics – as previously mentioned – involve removing one or more teeth to make way for the orthodontics. Nobody wants a tooth removed if they can help it, especially if that removal is quite invasive.

    Conversely, non-extraction orthodontics can potentially be inserted without the invasive treatment, especially as you won’t have to undergo any procedures to remove crowded teeth.

So, non-extraction orthodontics have become incredibly popular for the above reasons. After all, why have one or more teeth removed if you really don’t want that to happen? It just makes no sense…

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