Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Case for Non-Extraction of Permanent Teeth

I'd like to make the case for why, as a parent, I would never allow permanent teeth to be extracted from my child's mouth.  What follows are my personal opinions formed over many years of direct involvement with patients and dentists.  I am not a dentist.  However, I do have over 300 hours of continuing education in traditional orthodontics, functional orthopedics, epigenetic orthodontics, and craniofacial growth and development.

First, we should acknowledge that BY FAR the most prevalent reason for extracting teeth has been cosmetic, i.e., a desire for straight teeth.  Many doctors (even so-called specialists) have believed that some patients are simply born with either a mouth that is too small for their teeth, or teeth that are too large for their mouth.  To such doctors, the solution seemed simple enough--extract some of the teeth to create space for the others to be straightened and placed in a neat little row.  And if all one is attempting to do is straighten teeth, then we would concede that extraction therapy can be very effective.  Unfortunately, there are other serious considerations and implications.

What is rarely considered in such cases is the potential compromise that extraction therapy can have on other aspects of the patient's anatomy--particularly the airway.  Many excellent clinicians have observed that when permanent teeth are removed, and then braces are applied, both the upper and lower jaws can be retruded (pulled back) or are at least prevented from growing properly forward.  Jaws placed too far back in the craniofacial complex can impede on the functional space of the human airway and give rise to numerous other health conditions.

So the first issue against extracting teeth is that doing so may cause a compromise in a patient's airway.

The second reason is that extractions are almost never medically necessary.  The old adage of the teeth being too large for the mouth or the mouth being too small for the teeth is no longer a valid diagnostic paradigm for 99.5% of the population.   Moreover, excellent clinical techniques are now available which can guide the proper growth and development of the jaws and orofacial complex, widening dental arches while keeping things forward and preserving crucial upper airway space.  These techniques can often render traditional braces unnecessary.

One such treatment modality is the DNA appliance, pioneered by Dr. Dave Singh.  Dr. Singh spent 15 years in clinical research and development, and discovered that using epigenetic principles, it is possible to activate the body's own genetic code to remodel the oral cavity, expand the nasal cavity volume, and remodel the human airway.  His patented technology has successfully treated many thousands of patients around the world, including many adults who were suffering terribly from the effects of bicuspid extractions which they had earlier in life, and which they believed were now contributing to their Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

More information on this exciting and relatively new treatment can be found at

Finally, I would argue that patients who have received 2 or 4 bicuspid extractions have distinctively flat or even sunken facial features which are far less aesthetically appealing than if they had a full set of teeth with jaws placed properly forward.

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