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FAQ:  Crowded Teeth



Question:
14 yr old daughter and overbite, crowding and spaces: My 14 year old daughter has an overbite, spacing of teeth on the top and mild crowding of the lower teeth.

Her lower jaw seems slightly shorter than her top jaw. I've had her evaluated by 3 different orthodontists and received 3 different treatment plans.

The first Dr. recommended pulling 1 bicuspid from each side of the top jaw and 1 from each side of lower jaw.

Dr. #2 recommended pulling bottom front tooth only.

Ortho #3 said NO extractions and that she had moderate TMJ and extractions would aggravate it.

I'm confused as to which Orthodontist to go with. My daughter has a big smile and I'm a little concerned how extractions would affect it. We only have 3 orthos in our area to chose from. ...Visitor from OR

Answer:
Extraction orthodontics is a controversial procedure.

The removal of molar teeth to create more room doesn't pose much of a problem.... but may lengthen the need for treatment. Removing teeth elsewhere in the jaw is considered by some dentists to be a "speedier" way of completing treatment.... but can cause usual cosmetic and even facial structure changes.

Many adults who have had this treatment have it reversed later in life.... a common complaint is that they don't have the appearance of normally sized teeth in their "expected positions"... which can make some patients overly conscious about their appearance.

Read our Extraction Orthodontics FAQ for more discussion.

It might be a good idea to get some more consults... you have done well so far.

Editorial Staff

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