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braces extractions and face changes - am i making a mistake?

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lifethrurosetintedglasses Fri 06-Sep-19 12:52:24

Hi mumsnet!
I just turned 18 and am being offered braces on the nhs (even though its super late). I have some mild overcrowding so I was told id have to have 4 adult teeth extracted. I've been seeing many regret stories and warnings from dentists and patients alike about the process.

- i've read about and watched youtube vids about people who've noticed that after the extractions and treatment are done and braces are removed, that their face has become: more sunken and flat, including their cheekbones and that their chins became retruded or receeded. that their side profile became unattractive/worse and their smile is narrower. overall giving them a more aged looking and haggard face

Please could anyone who's had adult teeth extracted for braces like this when they were younger and grown older/ had kids who had this and grown up now, tell me if they've noticed these things happening? I'm so scared about what to do or not to do, because its such a big irreversible life decision. I dont know if i'm going to be making a mistake by having the extractions and its making me feel more and more depressed. I do want straight teeth, to have a good side profile and be filling free, but not if it means i'm going to ruin my face and feel regret for the rest of my life.

One of the teeth to be removed has a big cavity but the other 3 are healthy. My other options would be to not get braces and have the tooth root canalled but I dont know if this would be sustainable in the long term. or to remove the cavity tooth and save up for an implant in the future somehow and not get braces? I tried asking my ortho about my concerns but he brushed me off and said you could just decide not to get braces then. he also said he doesnt know how it would affect my face as his priorities are my teeth.

I know these are so many questions but any insight into anything here would be extremely appreciated. thank you!!

OP’s posts: |
YetAnotherBeckyMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 07-Sep-19 16:10:35

Just bumping your thread, OP. Good luck!

ChicCroissant Sat 07-Sep-19 16:19:35

I had teeth removed for overcrowding - without a brace - and no, I wouldn't say I looked haggard.

Do you suffer from anxiety OP, because while I can understand researching your options before undertaking any treatment your language is extremely dramatic and entirely focused on one small part of the treatment? What YouTube videos of successful brace wearers did you watch?

Treaclebee Sat 07-Sep-19 16:37:28

Aged around 15/16 I had 4 adult molars extracted and braces for 3 years, due to crowding and impacted wisdom teeth. The idea was taking teeth out would give the wisdom teeth 'room to turn', so I wouldn't have to have an op to remove the wisdom teeth.

In the end I still ended up having 2 wisdom teeth removed because they were still impacted (so trying to give them extra room by having molars removed didn't work on one side).

I now have a lot less teeth than most people, especially one one side of my mouth, which means I really have to look after the ones I have.

The side of my jaw that still has the 2 wisdom teeth is visually slightly larger than the other side.

My chin post braces is receded, which I believe is due to the braces as no one else in my family has this facial feature and no one else had braces. It wasn't receded before the braces. It really annoys me.

My lower front teeth have gone wonky again over time anyway. My upper front teeth are still straight, but then they always were.

IMO unless leaving it as it is is going to cause you pain or massive disfigurement, that would be my preference. Maybe have a really good chat with the orthodontist to find out what the consequences of leaving it alone would be?

Judystilldreamsofhorses Sat 07-Sep-19 21:22:33

I had four pre-molars removed for orthodontic reasons - I was still in late primary school though. I also had ten baby teeth out as my permanent teeth started to come in. My adult teeth are huge, so my mouth was going to be a right jumble - removing the teeth when I was young meant I actually didn’t need braces.

I’m mid 40s now, no sunken face! Quite a few of my friends had the same procedure, with or without braces, and all look fine.

ongranaryplease Sat 07-Sep-19 21:24:26

I had four adult teeth out when I had braces. I would do it a million times over because my teeth were awful and now they’re not. I guess that’s what you have to weigh up?

ongranaryplease Sat 07-Sep-19 21:26:04

I would also ask if you have anxiety. I’ve never heard of anybody having this worry re having teeth extracted for braces

WhatTiggersDoBest Sat 07-Sep-19 21:33:57

None of those things happened to me and I had 8 adult molar teeth out - 4 age 11 then 4 when I was 17.

Owltowel Sun 08-Sep-19 11:47:26

Hi, it sounds like you aren't totally sold on the idea. If it's an option for you, you can consider straightening your teeth at a later stage although this will be outside of the NHS - treatment costs range from around £3000- 5000 (something like invisalign)

If you've been offered braces under the NHS, your teeth likely won't have just "mild overcrowding", especially considering you are having 4 teeth removed.

If you can, please see you usual dentist for answers to your questions. I also think it will be beneficial for you to see an invisalign provider as they often give you free consultations. If they think that you would be suitable for invisalign then that option is available to you at a later stage. If not, then you might want to get traditional braces while you can. Google invisalign for a list of providers or Google Mismile for a list of providers who usually provide free consultations.

With regards to the root canal treatment option - root canal treatments can be long lasting provided they are done to an adequate standard - I always recommend my patients to see specialists for the best results.

Good luck!

LittleMissEngineer Sun 08-Sep-19 19:23:59


I am 45. I had 4 premolar teeth extracted - for overcrowding - and fixed braces for almost 3 years. I have recently just finished treatment and absolutely no negative changes to the structure of my face...

I weigh just over 9st and am 5’3” - if that makes any difference (although I doubt it).

As an “older” woman ( hmm ), I think that I would be more likely effected than someone your age (since face/cheeks are relatively less “youthful” anyway).

I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. At your age it is free AND will be effective quicker (the bones in your jaws allow easier movement). Also, teeth become more crowded with age and as wisdom teeth come through (mine were not too crowded at your age, but - as my wisdom teeth can through in my mid/late 20s - they became much more noticeably so...).

DiscoDown Sun 08-Sep-19 21:45:40

I had 3 premolars removed and then braces when I was about 12. Almost 30 years later they are still straight and my face isn't sunken or gaunt and I don't have a narrow smile. My chin recedes a bit but that's a family trait! I'm glad I had it done, my teeth were awful before and I hated smiling.

Mummoomoocow Sun 08-Sep-19 21:50:49

I suggest a second opinion OP. You don’t have to take what one dentist has said for gold.

BonnyE Sun 08-Sep-19 21:51:52

I had 4 adult molars removed as a teenager. Went back 6 months later for braces and my teeth had sorted themselves out for the large part - just moved into line once they had more space. I opted for no braces. They're not perfect but absolutely fine and I quite like them. Maybe you could have extractions and wait a while before next step. Good luck whatever you decide x

Watermelondoesntbelonginasalad Sun 08-Sep-19 21:56:38

I had 4 premolars removed at 24 for braces on the NHS it was the best decision I have ever made. I didn’t realise how bad my teeth were until they were fixed. My face shaped changed but that was because of how much my teeth moved. If it is NHS funded then they must think you need it.

Gatekeeper Mon 09-Sep-19 20:54:49

I had adult teeth removed at 13 and a brace- in my case it did lead to a change in face shape with a receding chin and weak jawline. My bite is poor and my teeth aren't much better now in my 50's as all my teeth moved again resulting in crossed front teeth, protuding canines and a narrow smile- sound great don't i!

WotcherHarry Tue 10-Sep-19 20:47:51

Hi OP - I had braces at 16 until I was almost 19. I had a fairly straight straight top set but the bottom set were overcrowded so I also had four teeth removed (all healthy). I never heard of those issues at the time and haven’t been affected by any of them!

WotcherHarry Tue 10-Sep-19 20:49:36

Also, I became a bit lax with my gum shield type retainer after about a year and my bottom teeth are a little bit wonky as an adult, but nothing bad. Top ones are still straight. I’m 32 now. I am very glad that I had it done!

Fuzzywuzzywuzzy Wed 11-Sep-19 00:29:15

My DS was due to have 4 teeth taken out and have braces. He too went on line and saw the same negative reports.

He refused to have the work done and now in early 20s he has crowded teeth and it's too late to have the work done on the NHS.

Many years ago I had teeth removed because of overcrowding (must run in the family) but didn't have braces. I dont think my profile and features were affected. What did affect it was major orthodontal surgery years later but that is for another time.

There will always be negative stories on the internet about everything. I'm sure I've read somewhere, that more people complain about things going wrong, but if it goes right, which most times things do, you will not hear about it.

So it would be best to think very carefully before wasting the opportunity to get the work done now on the NHS for free so you don't have to spend a fortune years later in correcting things.

Anxious256 Wed 11-Sep-19 04:12:52

Which teeth are they talking about extracting? How healthy are the rest of your teeth?

LoreleiRock Wed 11-Sep-19 04:21:40

I think this is why British dentistry has such a bad reputation. I had extractions and a brace (UK) but my daughter had a palate expander instead (US). Her teeth are beautiful, she has a proper wide smile. I think extractions are cheaper and easier, they are just so unnecessary in most cases.

feesh Wed 11-Sep-19 04:22:58

I’m in the middle of orthodontic treatment. I live overseas now and have discovered that this removal of teeth for ‘overcrowding’ is something of a british thing and can, like you say, have negative impacts on jaws and facial structure.

The alternative is good, early orthodontic treatment, but for some reason (money??) it’s not in the British culture to do that.

I’m in my 40s and have braces and I would say go for it, but be very wary of any orthodontist who wants to do extractions and maybe get a second opinion if you can (and try to seek out a non-Brit for the second opinion; there are foreign orthodontists working in the UK).

LoreleiRock Wed 11-Sep-19 04:30:22

Disclaimer: I am not saying I agree with the negative portrayal of British dentistry. (I have read the studies that show Brits actually have healthier teeth than Americans generally) I just don’t agree with unnecessary extractions when there are other options. (In my limited study of my daughter and me!)

minesagin37 Wed 11-Sep-19 05:26:07

It's standard practice before braces. DD 13 had 4 teeth removed and the teeth just move around and line up once the brace is on.

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