There are basically three ways an orthodontist can create the space needed to straighten crowded, crooked teeth. The most common is to widen and expand the smile to create a little more room for big teeth in a small jaw. Thankfully, this option will work for most patients. The second way is to “slenderize” the teeth by polishing them to make them a tiny bit smaller. As long as the reduction is minimal, there are generally no long-term negative consequences to this approach – and for people with really big teeth it can be a great option.
Occasionally, there is so much crowding that even a combination of widening and “slenderizing” just does not create enough room to fit in all the teeth with braces. In these few cases, it is better to have fewer teeth that fit in your mouth then it is to try and jam all the teeth into a small jaw. Trying to jam teeth into the bone when there isn’t enough space can cause periodontal disease over the long term. If some teeth are removed, the remaining teeth and gums end up being healthier and they look better too. We can discuss all the available options with you to find out what is going to give you the smile you want and deserve. Remember, smiles last a lifetime. Check out our website to learn more about orthodontic treatment.