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FAQ:  Orthodontics - Children - Teens

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Extraction Orthodontics

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Orthodontics Ask The Orthodontist Edward Leventhal Question:
Extract 4 Teeth for Orthodontic Treatment: My daughter is 11. She will no doubt need braces at some point in her life. There appears to be some overcrowding of her teeth.

Is it common to recommend that she have 4 teeth pulled prior to fitting her for braces? Would she fair better to wait for a few years and perhaps not need to lose so many teeth? ...Visitor from DC

I think extracting teeth due to crowding is improper dental care and unnecessary.

I have successfully treated patients with extremely crowded teeth, extracting NO teeth except wisdom teeth, and achieved excellent results.

Unfortunately the majority of orthodontists today are quick to extract, though they claim they only do it where necessary. I think it is never necessary.

Wait until your daughter has lost all baby teeth before starting braces. Contrary to some hype you may have heard, early treatment does not speed up care. If anything it slows it waiting for baby teeth to be lost.

Again, no extraction is the way to go under any circumstances. If the orthodontist gives you many important reasons to have teeth extracted for orthodontic purposes, RUN out of that office.

Edward Leventhal, DDS
Baltimore Cosmetic Implant Dentistry
8860 Belair Road
Baltimore, MD 21236
(410) 256-7300

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