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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:
Tooth extraction and braces: My daughter is an almost 13 year old girl with braces on for 1 year. 4 middle lower teeth are very crooked. One has turned 90 degrees.

The Orthodontist wants to pull one middle lower tooth to make room. The jaw cannot be widened much more without adverse effects down the road for other lower teeth.

How common is this and will it look odd to have 3 teeth in the bottom front? My daughter is very upset with this treatment and turn of events. We need reassurance. ...Visitor from MO

Your orthodontist is WRONG!!!

He/she wants to create the Kukla effect on your little girl (remember Kukla, the dragon with the big tooth in the center of his mouth from Kukla Fran and Ollie Show, or are you too young?).

Extracting a front tooth shortens the arc of the lower teeth so that the occlusion can NEVER be proper. Do not let anyone do this to your child. There is no reason the lower jaw cannot be widened to accomodate four lower anterior teeth.

Your orthodontist is not the only bozo who has performed this needless disfigurement on other people's children.

If this orthodontist cannot provide your child with straight teeth without extracting perfectly sound permanent teeth (with the sole exception of the wisdom teeth) remove your child from this lack of care.

We provide excellent orthodontic care in our practices every day without extracting any sound permanent teeth (except wisdom teeth) and certainly not a front tooth!!! I am confident you can recieve similar orthodontic care in your area.

When I see the result of an abomination like extracting a front tooth for orthodontic purposes I wish I could have cautioned the parents beforehand. I am happy to caution you. DO NOT LET ANYONE MUTILATE YOUR DAUGHTER'S DENTITION BY EXTRACTING A FRONT TOOTH!!!

Again, your daughter is correct to be upset. Room can easily be achieved for four lower anterior teeth on a 12 year old by any competent dentist with basic knowledge of straightening teeth. The fault lies not with your daughter's jaw but with the competency of the orthodontist.

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

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