Do I Need A Tooth Extraction Before Orthodontic Treatment?

At Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics, your comfort and health are our team’s top priorities. We are always prepared to explain what to expect from your treatment plan and the options you have going forward. For patients who need a tooth extraction before orthodontic treatment, read on to explore a short guide to help you understand how it works and how you can benefit from the procedure.

Understanding Orthodontic Treatment

Braces are commonly associated with orthodontic treatment, but many more options today help accomplish the same goals. Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders’s job as orthodontists is to help you get a perfect smile through fixing tooth placement. They specialize in realigning teeth and jaws to fix common complications such as bite issues, malocclusion, protruding teeth, and crowding. 

Our office uses treatments such as metal braces, clear braces, and clear aligners, each with the same purpose of shifting your teeth over time. Your first appointment with an orthodontist is suggested to be at age seven, when your teeth and jaw are still growing. This time is crucial as it allows us to spot any issues that can be fixed while your jaw is still malleable to avoid more complicated procedures. 

The Basics of Tooth Extraction

The Procedure

How the procedure goes depends upon the health of your tooth at the time of extraction. If it is in good condition and has erupted past the gum line, it will be a relatively simple process using a pair of forceps to loosen your tooth back and forth until it starts to give. Once it dislodges from place, we can extract it without any stitches and expect a quick recovery time. 

If your tooth is damaged or has not entirely emerged past the gum line, the extraction will require the extra step of an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon will cut part of your gums for us to safely remove your tooth, which will require stitches to be placed at the end. Because of these cuts, recovery takes a little longer before you can begin braces treatment. 

Is There Any Pain Involved? 

While there is minor discomfort during the procedure, we guarantee you won’t feel any pain. We provide a numbing agent that will prevent you from feeling anything around the tooth, gums, and jawbone. This way, we can extract your tooth while you can relax. 

Post-Procedure Care

Following the first day after your procedure, you will experience bleeding from the extraction site. Our team will provide you with gauze to bite down on during this time. Continue to do so until the bleeding has just about stopped to create a blood clot. The faster the bleeding stops, the more efficient your healing process will be. Information on how to provide care over the following days and weeks will be provided to you. If you have any questions about these instructions, please contact our office.

Do I Need A Tooth Extraction Before Orthodontic Treatment?

Why Tooth Extraction Might Be Necessary

Correcting Bite Issues

You may benefit from tooth extraction due to an over or underbite. The placement of your teeth is affected by your jaw position and how much space there is for your teeth to shift into place. Removing a tooth may help negate the need for jaw surgery or other more invasive procedures later on.

Protruding teeth can alter the appearance of your lips. Removing specific ones from the side of your mouth can provide the necessary space for others to grow into their space properly. This way, Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders can effectively reach an ideal position.


When your teeth begin growing over each other, they overlap and touch after eruption. Also known as crowding, this close spacing can angle your teeth out of place and lead to misalignment. Extra teeth may need to be removed for the rest to grow properly.

A Damaged Tooth

Should a tooth suffer trauma or otherwise be unhealthy, it may need to be removed if it is unsalvagable through root canal therapy. Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders will likely suggest removing it before braces treatment as an unhealthy tooth can interrupt the movement process, thus prolonging proper alignment. 

Possible Alternatives to Extraction

Tooth extraction is not always necessary; our team can sometimes get the job done through other simpler means. If removing a tooth may cause more harm than good, we can try palatal expanders, a metal device placed on your upper jaw to slowly widen the area and make room for more teeth. This appliance is typically used for younger patients as their bones are still malleable. A small key is used daily to expand the device and make more room for your dental arches to grow.

If you are looking for alternatives to tooth extraction, please ask Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders about your options. We will happily see you for a free consultation to learn more about your teeth and how we can help you!

How Long Before Beginning Braces After the Procedure?

The time you will need to wait before your braces procedure will be contingent upon the kind of tooth or teeth we extracted from your mouth. If it was a healthy tooth only removed for space, you can expect a full recovery within the next two weeks. 

However, suppose it was a more complicated extraction with an oral surgeon. In that case, it is crucial we wait closer to a month before beginning braces so that we ensure your stitches are completely healed and don’t cause unnecessary trauma to the area.

If you have any questions about the healing process, the timeline you can expect, or anything else, Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders will happily answer them. We want you to feel confident going into each step of treatment.

Do I Need A Tooth Extraction Before Orthodontic Treatment?

Keep Your Teeth Healthy and Aligned!

We understand the nerves surrounding tooth extraction and orthodontic treatment, but don’t worry! Our Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics team supports you every step of the way and ensures you are ready to begin each phase as we get closer. We provide Richmond, Texas and the surrounding communities with expert orthodontic services. Schedule your free consultation with us today!