Do I Need an Extraction? (photo)

I am missing my left lateral incisor, had it removed when I was little. My front teeth shifted about 2mm to the left. Six months into wearing braces my orthodontist said I could either have one tooth extracted from the opposite side(right) and open space for an implant or have my right side teeth file to make 2mm space I need to align my mid line. I prefer filing instead of an implant. Which is the best option to correct my mid line I really want to have a perfect smile or almost perfec smile.

Doctor Answers 2

How to Correct a Midline Shift

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Since your midline shift is only 2 mm then extracting a tooth sounds like overkill. It also looks like you have plenty of teeth width to work with so slenderizing teeth would not only give you the necessary 2 mm of needed space but would also give you the 2 mm of space needed to completely correct your midline. Slenderizing teeth does not harm them and it is done all the time.

Good luck!

Missing one lateral incisor

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getting a tooth extracted and then needing an implant seems crazy just to correct a small midline problem...nobody will ever notice it!...See if you can be treated with minimal changes to your teeth and accept the slight imperfection.

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

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