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Extracting Teeth for Malocclusion Treatment


Topic Overview

Serial extraction is the carefully planned and selective removal of baby (primaryClick here to see an illustration.) teeth to create room for incoming permanent (secondaryClick here to see an illustration.) teeth. Dentists or orthodontists consider removing teeth because after age 8, the space for a child's teeth (arch length) doesn't increase. Severe crowding of teeth at this age means that permanent teeth are likely to come in out of place. This can result in a bad bite or crooked teeth (malocclusion).

Often an orthodontist will remove the primary canine teeth after the two front secondary incisors on top and bottom have erupted. This makes room for the permanent incisors. After 2 years, when the first premolars and permanent canines are ready to erupt, the orthodontist again checks for crowding. More teeth are removed if needed. Often the orthodontist chooses to remove the first premolars.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerWilliam F. Hohlt, DDS - Orthodontics
Last RevisedJanuary 2, 2013

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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