Every day, countless children benefit from braces, which correct crowded teeth, protruding teeth and gapped teeth. Unfortunately, many times parents are told that their kids will require extractions of permanent, adult teeth prior to orthodontic treatments. A common practice for many years, extractions of adult teeth are becoming less popular for a variety of reasons. Before you allow a practitioner to pull your child’s teeth to prepare his or her mouth for braces, learn why functional orthodontics offers a better solution.

Problems Down the Road

tween girl smilingExtractions of permanent teeth make orthodontic treatments easier for the orthodontist by creating more room between teeth. Sadly, evidence suggests that this procedure could lead to some serious problems down the road. Some research indicates that these extractions could increase a child’s risk for developing sleep apnea and/or temporomandibular joint disorder. On the other hand, modern functional orthodontics provides an effective alternative to the extraction of adult teeth without the same disturbing risks.

Troublesome Side-effects

While the extraction of adult teeth creates more space, because a child’s jaw remains narrow, he or she may be left susceptible to serious future problems. Research suggests that millions of Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, a debilitating condition that results in all sorts of chronic symptoms, such as chewing difficulties, jaw pain, headaches, tinnitus and jaw clicking and popping. While it’s not clear how many of these people owe their problems to pre-orthodontic extraction of permanent teeth they received during their youth; there is some evidence that plenty do.

Unnecessary extractions also have the power to negatively impact a child’s appearance. This point is made disturbingly clear by the following photos, which feature twin girls: one which received pre-orthodontic extractions and one which did not (View photos).

In the end, it’s clear that extractions of adult teeth can cause unexpected side-effects that could follow children for the rest of their lives.

A Better Way

Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a better way to prepare a child for braces. By expanding the jaw to create more room, functional orthodontics provide superior benefits over extraction orthodontics without the same potential risks. Before you submit to a proposed extraction of an adult tooth, visit Smile Columbia Dentistry to see if your child can benefit from functional orthodontics. Thanks to modern dental advancements, there’s no need to settle for antiquated dental practices that come with unnecessary risk. To learn more, contact our office today or call (803) 781-9090.