Orthodontal violence

My wife had her first orthodontal consult, which began with “we’ll remove these three healthy teeth…”

It made me think I could use some PDD hive mind recommendations and maybe some first person accounts. Help?



about 10 years ago

Dentists are full of shit, unless you find a good one, who is sensible, which are rare, because dentists are wealthy and overpaid, and get paid to pull teeth.  They don't make as much advocating sense and balance.  Jurisprudence.  I like Bertani in Lakeside, he's fair and balanced and has a sense of humor, which is rare in the dentist world.  Doesn't have to be a little shop of horrors. I had dentists in Yuppyville ready to pull my teeth, then following sensible dentists laughed at the insanity of it.

Jim Richardson

about 10 years ago

I had four teeth pulled (besides the wisdom teeth) as a teen because of a crowded mouth. Also had an impacted tooth in the roof of my mouth that was going to grow out of my upper lip they said. They tied a wire around it and brought it down into some of the new space. Had braces for years during all this, wore headgear at night for a while, also had a retainer for a while. Now my teeth look really straight, that's for sure. It's nice cosmetically. I was maybe an extreme case who actually NEEDED some work done. All the same, I do occasionally wonder if I really needed four teeth pulled. Seems like there's room in the back of my mouth for another couple molars... I think that when I'm old and losing teeth, I will really miss those four. My impression is that the rest of the world thinks we overdo it on the orthodontistry. I am stoked not to have a tooth growing out my upper lip though. 100 years ago I would have been a freak.


about 10 years ago

Much like Jim I had four teeth pulled plus my four wisdom teeth. The surgery was pretty horrible even though I was anaesthetized. I'm sure they really made bank on my parents/insurance but my teeth do look better--for now. 

All in all I'm not sure it was worth it. I now only have 24 teeth. They look normal, but eating is a bitch. I wish I had more teeth to masticate the occasionally large quantities of food I like to put in my mouth in one bite :/


about 10 years ago

It may seem horrible to have to remove three healthy teeth, but in the end if you want a certain result, that may be what needs to be done.  If your wife is happy with her current smile though, I would not go through having braces.  But, if she would like to change her smile due to crowding, then it may be necesary.  If you are concerned about having teeth removed, perhaps go for another consult to see if there is another option.
I work in the dental profession and we try to save teeth as much as possible, but sometimes it is necessary.  We try to do the best by our patients and let them know what their options are.

Les F

about 10 years ago

As a former wearer of braces, there was not enough room in my mouth (some people will dispute this and tell you I have a big mouth)  They pulled 4 molars when I was in 7th grade.  Yeah I may miss them when I get older but I have perfectly aligned teeth now (they were pushing forward and out before) and am not sure where there would be room for my straight teeth plus the 4 pulled. I think they did 2 at a time under a local, it was not that traumatic.  However if they offer nitrous in addition, it wouldn't be a bad idea 8^).

Would I do it again.. yes.  Your mileage may vary.

Copper Top

about 10 years ago

Compare a person't mouth with a car.  The car can only carry so many people safely before they are spilling out the windows.  A mouth is the same - it can only properly accommodate so many teeth before problems develop.  Orthodontics can serve many purposes, from aligning the teeth purely for esthetics to helping alleviate severe jaw joint pain, to allowing someone who can't even bite a sandwich to be able to do so.  Sometimes the only option is to remove teeth to create the proper amount of space to achieve the ideal result.  Every person's mouth is a little different, and so every treatment plan is going to be a little different.  I am a dentist, and I can tell you that we go to great lengths to save teeth, whether healthy or severely decayed or abscessed.  A good discussion with the orthodontist about the pros and cons of the situation, and why orthodontics are being undertaken, is the only way to know what is the right answer.  Sometimes saving all the teeth can compromise the end result, so at that point a person needs to decide if it's more valuable to them to keep all their teeth or have straight teeth.  There isn't necessarily a right answer and it is a big decision that couples need to talk about together before taking that step.  There are plenty of dentists and orthodontists in the area, and it is certainly reasonable to seek a second opinion.

The Big E

about 10 years ago

My younger brother has a full set of healthy, perfectly aligned wisdom teeth chomping away (and no cavities as yet, in his late 30s).  Obviously some sort of evolutionary throwback.


about 10 years ago

Dentists are like auto mechanics. When you move to a new community you need to find one you can trust.      Here is an experience I had. When I was young and living in Minneapolis I didn't have much money and went to the U of MN to have student dentists work on my teeth. I only had one wisdom tooth and they removed it... it broke and I got a dry socket, very painful experience but it can probably happen to anyone, I do not know. This was not the bad experience. The BAD experience was during some routine work the instructor came in to examine the student's work. In the process he asked if I was aware that I had an overbite. No one has ever said I have an overbite and no one who has ever known me would make this observation, but it was a setup because he recommended that I have my jaw broken in order to fix it. It would cost quite a bit of money in addition to much suffering no doubt. I was not so gullible as he thought and declined his recommendation.     Doctors and dentists are not 19th century priests who you have to just accept what they say. A good medical professional should be a partner, and a partner you can trust.

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Read previous post:
Jim Carlson is running for President?

Is this part of the Zombie Apocalypse?