If you had permanent teeth removed
as part of your orthodontic treatment...
...please do not click off of this page
until you watch these two short videos!
They Are Called 'Permanent' Teeth For A Reason
Snoring. Chronic head pain. Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Thoracic outlet syndrome. Physical balance that has gone awry. Changes in vocal range. What do they all have in common?
According to some of our patients, the answer is that they were all improved when previous orthodontic treatment that involved the removal of permanent teeth was reversed.
If you had permanent teeth extracted and are not happy with what happened after the braces came off, there may be a non-surgical solution for you.
If you think your lips are steadily becoming thinner or, if you suspect your smile is becoming hollow and narrow, it very well may not be due to the aging process. If your tongue feels like it has nowhere to go, if you clench and grind or if you wake up feeling like you didn't sleep - we understand. We see people just like you everyday.
What all of them have in common (and we already said this, but it bears repeating) is...
They all had traditional orthodontic treatment. Specifically, they had bicuspid teeth removed followed by retractive mechanics (headgear, braces, fixed appliances) that pulled their teeth backward in their faces. And, they believe they were suffering as a result.
Some had serious functional issues (severe headaches, neckaches, snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea) that prompted them to seek treatment. Others just hated the "sunken-in" mouth, thin lips, lack of chin or "crowded tongue" that they feel the traditional orthodontic treatment contributed to.
How important was it to them to get treated? Important enough, in many cases, to commute by plane for their appointments...even from as far away as Australia.
It is Possible To Look Better...AND Feel Better
(Just ask the patient below!)
Re-opening extraction spaces is a drug-free treatment. It could not be more "all natural", "holistic", or "organic"! It is all about restoring your teeth and jaws to a harmonious relationship with more adequate tongue space - the way it was meant to be.
The concept really couldn't be simpler, nor could it be more intuitive and logical. Think about it...
Is there any other area of medicine where body parts are surgically removed and thrown away without examination by a pathologist?
Is there any other area of medicine where removing body parts is the norm? Bicuspid extraction has been a big part of orthodontics for nearly a century. We believe it was "grandfathered in" to the modern age of medicine. Apparently not enough people asked about the potential long term negative consequences of removing permanent teeth! Removing permanent teeth became became accepted treatment because it made it easier for the orthodontist to make the teeth fit and/or it was believed the teeth would be more stable.
To be sure there have been (and continue to be) controversies about extracting teeth for orthodontics. Those controversies tend to revolve around "stability". So far no one has proven extraction treatment to be more stable than non-extraction treatment. Nonetheless, extractions, as a matter of course, are still being taught in graduate orthodontic training programs across the country.
It has also been argued that treating some orthodontic cases without removing teeth will cause the gums to recede (and, by inference, will cause permanent teeth to be lost over time). That argument was laid to rest several years ago by two articles in the refereed literature of the profession. (Birte Melson, & Jon Artun articles in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics) Although the research in those articles confirms our long held belief that extraction of permanent teeth is unnecessary, the extraction of permanent teeth remains well within the standard of care in orthodontics today.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
(The patient below knows first hand)
Over the last decade, some of us in the orthodontic profession have begun treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). A prominent Harvard-trained sleep physician, Dr. John Remmers, states that OSA can be related to improper jaw position and reduced tongue space. A study from China has shown that the airway space is reduced following bicuspid extraction orthodontic treatment for "bi-maxillary protrusion". We do not condone any treatment that reduces your airway space even a little bit. We believe there is always a better way to achieve your treatment goals.
We would not, under any circumstances, allow a member of our family to undergo a treatment that involved the risk of airway space reduction. And, if a treatment is not good enough for our family members, we won't recommend it to you or anyone in your family.
When permanent teeth are removed and the remaining teeth (and jaws) are pulled back into the face, there is less room for the tongue. Where is the tongue supposed to go after the space for it has been diminished? In order for the tongue to avoid falling back into the airway after retraction has taken place, it either needs to shrink or hang out of the mouth. The human tongue apparently does not shrink and it cannot hang outside the mouth in polite society.
Patients routinely tell us that their tongue "doesn't fit" properly in their mouth after they've had extraction orthodontic treatment. They tell us that they cannot close their back teeth together without squishing and contorting their tongue to make it fit inside their mouth. In an effort to get comfortable, they posture their jaws in unnatural positions - often sandwiching their tongues between their back teeth.
Many people who have had retractive orthodontic treatment do this unconsciously. Then, they develop pain patterns they can't explain. Some make the connection. Others suffer in silence and never figure out what is going on. Still others realize what was happening only after their extraction spaces are re-opened and the pain fades. A good number of our patients who have spaces re-opened for esthetic reasons ultimately eliminate a symptom pattern they had never connected to their teeth and jaws.
What could be simpler than re-opening those extraction spaces and giving the tongue the room it needs so that it can rest on the roof of the mouth the way it was intended to? The truth is that re-opening your extraction spaces is simple in theory, but technically challenging in practice. Dr. Hang has been perfecting this treatment since 1989. The first time he re-opened extraction spaces, he was reluctant, because he could find no treatment protocols in the orthodontic literature. The patient was desperate and, after refusing her several times, she agreed to become a human guinea pig. Her persistence and passionate belief that her problems stemmed from extraction and retraction persuaded Dr. Hang to treat her and, with her help, he figured out how to re-open extraction spaces. Soon thereafter, he treated himself and re-opened an extraction space in his own mouth.
After seeing the results in that first patient and solidifying his belief in re-opening extraction spaces by treating himself, he began to offer the treatment to anyone he believed was a good candidate. He has learned from each patient and has become very proficient in re-opening extraction spaces over the years. But, in the general population, the availability of the treatment is little known.