Does Pulling out Good Teeth when Getting Braces Have Disadvantages in the Future?

I'm 13 and may be getting braces soon. I have to pull out two of my teeth in order to make room for the other teeth.  So will pulling out the teeth cause certain disadvantages in the future?

Doctor Answers 3

Pulling teeth for braces is a last resort option

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Sometimes there just isn't any way around it, but most of the time permanent teeth don't need to be pulled.  It may take longer for treatment, but the end result is better.  Disadvantages to pulling teeth is that airways can be affected and facial aesthetics are altered.  TMJ issues are debatable, but there is strong opinions that pulling teeth leads to TMJ problems as an adult.

With the right approach, permanent teeth removal is almost never necessary

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

To answer your question directly, yes, there can be future negative consequences of having permanent teeth removed.  Traditional orthodontists believe that bicuspid extraction approach is best when teeth are crowded, however there can a better way to treat teeth like you have.  The problem typically is not that a person with crowding has too many teeth, or that the teeth are too big.  The problem is that they have narrow (underdeveloped) jaw structures.  If they are left narrow and underdeveloped, then teeth extractions become necessary in order to straighten the teeth.   By correcting the facial structures with special orthopedic expanders, the narrowness of the jaws can be corrected gaining space for all the teeth, thus eliminating the need for the teeth extractions.  With this approach the patient also end up with a much more full smile.  Other benefits like better breathing through the nose, healthier jaw joints (TMJ) and even better spinal alignment are possible with this approach as well.


You will be fine.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Having teeth removed in order to straighten the teeth is sometimes necessary. Your orthodontist will carefully evaluate your case to be sure it is needed. They take into consideration things like the amount of crowding, the way the front teeth support the lips, and the amount of overbite.  In most cases there are few long term disadvantages.  Any disadvantages are more temporary - primarily dealing with the appearance of the space.  As your treatment progresses, the space will close.  And when your braces are taken off, you or anyone else will not be able to tell you are missing teeth without counting them.

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.