Why do orthodontists pull teeth?

Is getting your kid to the orthodontist like pulling teeth? What hurts your kids hurts you too. Why do orthodontists pull teeth anyway? And where did the concept for braces even come from? That exciting answer, and why we don’t do extractions at New Early Orthodontics (NEO) is…

Orthodontics began in 1728 with French dentist Pierre Fauchard, who published a book called “The Surgeon Dentist” on how to straighten teeth. So for those of you keeping track, modern orthodontics was invented fifty years before the American Revolution! It’s a bit obvious to state that lots has changed in medicine since 1728.

Orthodontists are trained to pull teeth to create space when the mouth is too crowded and the teeth are not growing in properly. From a 1728 perspective, this makes sense. Removing teeth gives other teeth more space to grow into and metal braces slowly move the remaining teeth in place. Problem solved.

But, we don’t live in 1728. You and I are living in the twenty-first century, nearly 300 years later. Just as we don’t drive around on horses or live without electricity, we have new technology that helps straighten teeth without extracting them.

The easiest way to straighten teeth is with an appliance such as Myobrace, which straightens the jaw, opens the airway, and does what old metal braces used to do. For those who will still need braces, but would rather look stylish – and what teenager doesn’t – there is Invisalign, which are clear braces that function just like metal braces, again, without extractions.

“This evolution of teeth straightening is still catching on and needs to be implemented younger than standard, extraction based orthodontics.”

Why don’t all orthodontists use these new methods?

Well, there are a number of reasons. First, it takes at least ten years of college and training to get a doctorate degree in dentistry, and most schools teach extractions and braces. Change is hard.

Second is the money factor. A single patient can bring in five thousand dollars and up for an orthodontist. So if an orthodontist stops doing extractions and doesn’t install braces, they might earn less. But let’s get real: in 1728, we were still bleeding people with leeches. We’ve come a long way, thanks to technology.

Just to be clear, this information is about orthodontists. For dentists, there are many legitimate medical reasons to extract teeth, which is why insurance covers most dental procedures. For orthodontists, extractions and surgeries are almost entirely cosmetic. That’s why insurance doesn’t cover most orthodontic procedures – they are not medically necessary. Nobody ever died from crooked teeth.

If you want to talk to an orthodontist who doesn’t do extractions, and can reduce your kids’ time in braces, contact New Early Orthodontics today for a free consultation. We look forward to moving into the future with you! We can be reached at www.neo-smiles.com or 303-690-0400.