FAQs About Tooth Extractions and Braces

Posted on: 16 August 2021

In certain cases, some people may need to get teeth extracted before braces are placed. Conversely, some dentists may recommend braces after a patient has had a tooth extracted. If you need to get a tooth extracted, read on to learn more about these possible scenarios.

Why Are Teeth Extracted Before Braces?

People usually have a full set of permanent teeth by their late teen years; however, there are some cases where people don't lose all of their baby teeth by this time. However, if you have a permanent tooth that cannot erupt because of a lingering baby tooth, then your dentist might recommend an extraction before braces. Ideally, baby teeth should act as placeholders for adult teeth, but if a baby tooth doesn't fall out on time, then it can cause crowding and hinder orthodontic work, which is why an extraction beforehand would be recommended.

Do Baby Teeth Always Need to Be Extracted Before Braces?

No. If there is no crowding or complications, then your dentist might wait to see if the tooth will fall out on its own. An extraction may not be needed if a patient doesn't have an incoming permanent tooth (e.g. hypodontia). In that case, the dentist may recommend that the patient retaining the baby tooth into adulthood if it doesn't cause any complications to adjacent teeth.

Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted Before or After Braces?

Wisdom teeth can be extracted before or after braces. Wisdom teeth usually don't emerge until the late teen years and early adulthood—a time when a lot of people have already completed their orthodontic treatment. If you are getting braces later in life, then your dentist might recommend an extraction before your braces are placed, especially if those teeth are impacted or crowding other teeth. If you've already had braces have completed orthodontic treatment, your dentist might still recommend an extraction afterward if there is tooth crowding. Even if you wear a retainer, wisdom teeth can still push against surrounding teeth and potentially undo the results of your orthodontic treatment. If your alveolar ridge is large enough to support wisdom teeth, you may not need an extraction at all.

When Would You Need Braces After a Tooth Extraction?

Do you plan on getting a restoration, like a bridge, implant, or partial denture? If so, your dentist might recommend a short period of braces after an extraction. Why? When you are missing teeth from an extraction, teeth on either side will naturally drift to close the gap. If your restoration isn't made right away, then there may not be space for it to fit. Braces, like Invisalign trays, can be used after an extraction not to correct the bite, but to simply hold the space until you get fitted with your restoration.

Reach out to your dentist for more information about tooth extractions and whether you need braces before or after this procedure.