What Is Orthodontic Extrusion?

orthodontic extrusion soleil orthodontics woodinvillePeople who wear braces sometimes need their teeth turned or rotated. After all, brackets and wires are not only designed to straighten teeth or close gaps. Your orthodontist may even need to extrude a tooth or two to achieve ideal alignment. What does that mean? If you don’t know, you’re in the majority. “Extrusion” isn’t all that common for someone who is new to the world of orthodontia.

The Definition of Orthodontic Extrusion

Whether you sit and observe the action at your teen’s orthodontic adjustments or take a rest in the waiting room while the work gets done, at some point during treatment the orthodontist may mention that there are a few teeth she wants to “extrude.” The term sounds painful and a little scary, but it’s a common practice and makes sense in aligning a smile. Here are the details:

  • Orthodontic extrusion can position one or just a few teeth out of supporting bone and tissue, particularly teeth that have not fully erupted.
  • Braces can be designed to shift specific teeth down by the strategic placement of brackets and careful positioning of orthodontic wire.
  • The extrusion movements are miniscule and how much the teeth need to shift will dictate the amount of force that needs to be exerted to create movement.
  • Extrusion gradually repositions teeth toward opposing teeth until they reach preferred alignment.
  • Lower levels of force will shift teeth, gums, and underlying bone together. Higher levels move only the teeth themselves.
  • Teeth are repositioned and moved toward opposing teeth to improve function and aesthetics.
  • Orthodontic extrusion is also known as “forced eruption” and it is used with conventional metal braces, not Invisalign.

Extrusion can also be used for teeth that have been damaged and need to be moved down enough so that a restorative dentistry treatment can be bonded to them. This is not the case for most orthodontic patients – orthodontic extrusion is all about moving teeth in the right direction, so a patient ends up with a straight, flawless, symmetrical smile.

Types of Orthodontic Movement

There are many types of movement in the world of orthodontics: crown tipping, root tipping, rotation, translation, torquing, intrusion, distalization, extrusion. You may have heard some of these terms before or recognize that they’re intended to treat teeth that are rotated, tilted, and oddly positioned, but there is no reason you would automatically know what they mean. You and your tween or teen learn as you go on the braces journey, and your orthodontist is always happy to explain.

The Forced Eruption Timeline

Extrusion can be a difficult movement to control, but for a practiced orthodontist it’s an art form to be mastered. Treatment time to complete an extrusion can be between four and six weeks, but up to six months of retention time may be necessary depending on treatment goal.

Whenever you have questions about a term or a change in your child’s treatment, always ask your Woodinville orthodontist. At Soleil Orthodontics, Dr. Soleil Roberts provides patients not only with gorgeous, healthy smiles but an orthodontic education too. Schedule a consultation for your child.

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