Is It Possible for Me to Fix my Protrusion/front Teeth Flaring Without Extractions?

I am nervous about getting 4 bicuspids extracted. I have been searching for any other options. If it is absolutely necessary, and won't ruin my facial profile, I will do it. What is holding me back: I've heard that this can make your mouth even smaller. My mouth is TINY as it is. How long does it usually take to bring the teeth back? I am already embarrassed to have braces, let alone 4 holes in my smile. I've had my braces for 17 months already and want them off by my 21st birthday in June.

Doctor Answers 3

Do I need teeth out?

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There has been an extreme amount of misinformation about the negative effects of premolar extractions.  No one will disagree that, done on the wrong patient, extractions can have a negative effect on the face, BUT, done for the right reasons, extractions are the RIGHT choice.  There is no other orthodontic method that can retract excessively protrusive anterior teeth back (as far as yours appear to be required) other than extractions.

Some orthodontists and many  general dentists doing orthodontics pride themselves on their ability to avoid extractions....truth be told, this is real easy to do...if you don't mind having protrusive and unstable results for some patients.  Extractions are just a tool, neither good nor bad, it is the skill of the doctor that will determine the final result and the best results require the abilitity to utilize EVERY tool available.

If you are unsure get a second or third opinion from an experienced orthodontist who does not have a "nonextraction at all cost belief system"

Extractions done correctly will improve a face...not make it look worse!

Saint Louis Orthodontist

Extractions Will Help Get Your Teeth Back to their Proper Angulations

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Just looking at your side profile photo ... Your teeth are definitely protruded.  The angulations of your front teeth cannot be changed drastically without extractions.  Sometimes extractions are better for your profile instead of worse and it looks like in your case, it would help your profile to have teeth removed and get all your teeth properly angulated.  


It's unfortunate that it's taken 17 months to get to this discussion of getting teeth taken out, but I think you should hang in there and do it right regardless if it goes into your 21st birthday.  Good luck!

Robert Passamano, DDS
Irvine Orthodontist

Effects of extractions

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Good answers from the orthodontists already, so I won't duplicate their answers.  One word of caution however.  You already have a bit of a gummy smile.  Extractions can have an effect on how the lips drape over the front teeth when they are in their new position.  Be sure to discuss this with your doctor.

Doug Depew, DMD
Atlanta 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.