Can extracting molars on one side for braces treatment result in functional issues, such as chewing or speech difficulties?
Extraction of teeth is sometimes indicated for braces treatment to create space to correct dental crowding, protrusion of teeth or camouflage a bite problem.
The teeth chosen for extraction will depend on the individual case needs, and a tooth that is weaker is usually the better candidate for extraction. I often want to leave my patients with the best teeth and losing a poorer quality molar tooth is sometimes a better choice.
In some situations, a molar on one side is chosen because it is heavily restored or has a questionable long term prognosis. Extracting a molar only on one side does not result in functional issues as long as the final occlusion has all pairs of teeth biting against each other evenly.
Speech is also usually not affected by conventional braces treatment and extracting a molar also does not cause any speech difficulties.
A molar tooth is a big tooth so expect a longer treatment duration as it will take a bit longer to close the space compared to a smaller tooth space.
If you do have any further concerns about the treatment plan, do discuss this with your dentist/orthodontist and he/she may be able to offer other treatment options should you wish to keep the molar tooth.
Hope this helps and all the very best.
Dr Priscilla Lu
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