Pulling Teeth is NOT the Answer

don't pull teeth for bracesThis is something that, as a Boise dentist who is certified to practice orthodontics, I am passionate about! Pulling teeth is NOT the right way to go about straightening your smile.

Why Are Teeth Getting Pulled?

In dental school, I did a research project on orthodontia about pulling teeth for orthodontic treatments. We needed cases of adults with orthodontic work where teeth hadn’t been pulled. But as we were gathering case studies, we didn’t find enough! The huge majority of patients had teeth pulled as part of their treatment plans.

This is shocking, especially considering it hasn’t changed very much, even in recent years. The problem is that many orthodontists get stuck in a “one plan fits all” mentality that requires pulling teeth. In many of these cases, the patient could easily use alternative methods, achieve the same positive outcome, and keep all their teeth to boot!

Why Should You Look At Alternative Options?

There’s no real reason to pull teeth. Here are some of the many reasons to keep all your teeth right where they belong!

1) New Technology

There is technology available that will create space in a patient’s mouth, allowing for all of their teeth to fit safely and smoothly in place. In nearly all cases, surgery and extractions are no longer necessary to achieve good results. Low-friction brackets and nickel titanium wires are two of the most incredible innovations in orthodontia.

2) Joint/Jaw Pain

There is a frightening correlation between having teeth pulled and experiencing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. You change the dynamics of the musculoskeletal system that is used for chewing when you are missing some of your teeth. This creates a situation where joint pain is far more common. Nearly all of the patients who come in with jaw pain also have tooth extractions in their past for orthodontic work.

3) Aesthetics

Having teeth pulled creates a sunken face because the fullness of the jaw and tooth structure isn’t there. Taking out the premolars really changes the profile from pre-treatment at 13 or 14 to post treatment. Fortunately for this patient, the jaw was pulled forward which dramatically improved facial structure.

orthondontic before after

4) Less Pain

With the new technology, there is also significantly less pain. The changes that the braces make to correct misalignment are gradual and consistent, rather than abrupt and intense. Typically my patients say that they don’t have days of soreness after they come in to see me, as many normal orthodontic patients have.

5) Save Time and Money

The time it takes to accomplish results for patients using newer orthodontic technology is significantly less than traditional methods. Because it doesn’t take as long, there are fewer appointments to see me and that saves you both time and money. The average price at an orthodontist’s office is around $5,000, while most of my patients pay under $4,000.

Orthodontics at Modern Dental

I can preserve aesthetics, maintain structural integrity of the jaw, and still accomplish the orthodontic work that you need to have straight teeth and a correct bite.

And this is not to say that many orthodontists aren’t doing a great job and meeting the needs of their patients with the latest technology and methods. There are some who have the same values that I have. I’m grateful that they exist. And I hope that their influence can be felt more broadly across their field.

I look forward to the day when I no longer get treatment plans with pulling teeth as a first step. If you need some orthodontic work done and don’t want your teeth pulled, please talk to me today and we’ll do everything we can to find you an alternative treatment plan that suits your needs.

I’ve treated several thousand cases and I know that I’ve pulled fewer than 10 teeth in all that time! This is my soapbox. This is my passion. And I hope that I can convince you of the importance of getting orthodontic treatment without resorting to pulling teeth. If you feel like orthodontics may benefit you, give our dental team in South East Boise a call and we’ll set you up with a consultation to see how we may be able to help.

~Dr. Wagner