Necessary to Extract Teeth In Order to Wear Braces when You Have an Overbite?

Doctor Answers 6

Extract Teeth Before Braces?

This is a controversial topic even within the dental community. I would strongly encourage a second opionon whenever extractions are being recommended in conjunction with orthodontics. Extractions are irreversible; therefore, it is important that a patient completely understand the treatment. Most patients assume that because upper front teeth stick out ("buck teeth" or excessive overjet) that there is a problem with the upper jaw. Generally speaking, this is NOT true but the problem is actually a lower jaw issue. Extracting teeth and pulling the upper teeth back to match the lower jaw will indeed make for nice staight pretty teeth but it isn't necessarily the best treatment. Because teeth support the lips and face you must always consider what moving the teeth will do to the support of lips and the shape of the face. Bottom line...before extracting teeth for orthodontic purposes make sure you question the doctor about what their treatment plan will do to the look of your face, particularly the length of your nose and also ask what the potential consequences are to the TMJ. This is a GREAT question and the treatment of your case should be approached with a sound understanding of the treatment beign prescribed. Best of luck to you!

Tustin Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


It isonly in a few patients that it is necessary to have teeth extracted for overbite correction. In youngsters and adolescents that are still growing it is usually possible to change the balance between upper and lower jaw growth to reduce overbite. In adults, or older teens, the possible need for extractions is greater since growth has been completed. The need for extraction may also be incresad if in addition to the overbite, there is significant dental crowding.

I suggest you seek the opinion of an orthodontist, and eve nget  a second opinion, so you are confident that there is no option other than extraction. 

R. William McNeill, DDS, MS
Mercer Island Orthodontist

To extract or not to extract - that is the question!

This has been a hotly contested debate in the orthodontic specialty for decades.  The short answer is - it depends on the problems at hand.  A thorough diagnosis by a skilled clinician can unlock the puzzle for each individual case.  And there are usually more problems than an overbite.  An overbite by itself certainly does not require extractions to correct.  But there are other problems to consider such as the way the molars fit together, the overjet, the lip support by the teeth, and the amount of crowding.  Contemporary orthodontists will often favor non-extraction as a rule, but know that there are still cases that will be best treated by extractions for cosmetic, functional, and stability reasons.

Doug Depew, DMD
Atlanta Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Extractions for overbite

Sometimes yes sometimes no.  It is almost always possible to treat overbites without extractions BUT the final stability and the esthetic results can suffer.  Extractions are just a tool, neither right nor wrong,sometimes needed sometimes not.  Be careful of practioners who say they NEVER extract and advocate arch expansion for everything...they are putting the treatment (nonextraction) before the diagnosis (are extractions necessary).  This being said, I only do extractions when it is the BEST option for the patient.

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

Extractions for braces is not always required

Extractions are usually suggested when a lot of crowding exists or to speed up treatment.  However, extractions MAY lead to other problems and should be a LAST resort and not the first suggestion.  Arch expansion is usually a better option if possible.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

New materials and science allow us to not have to pull teeth to fix an overbite.

No. It is not necessary to extract teeth in order to wear braces when you have an overbite. There are so many new materials and concepts that are available to our profession and providing stable long term results. Facially, there are advantages and disadvantages to pulling and not pulling teeth. All pluses, minuses and treatments options should be discussed, along with fees at you consultation appointment. Reviewing all the possibilities is my favorite part of the process, next to the smile I see when the patient sees that beautiful finish.

Jacqueline Demko, DDS, MSD
Chesterfield Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.