Braces: Any Links to Over-diagnosed?

Ok, my daughter (age 10) has perfect teeth. The dentist claims her wisdom teeth will HAVE to come out, and she’ll need braces. Sounds like a racket to me. My dentist watched my wisdom teeth around age 20, and after careful examination, he could tell they’d be fine. (Note: I had other teeth extracted for braces, but I hear the “philosophy” has changed.) i.e., no quick decision at age 10 for me! (Could this be the latest fad in the tooth fairy profession?)

While I cannot ask for medical advice, I just want links to objective articles defending my position that braces are over-diagnosed, perhaps earlier and earlier. At $5000 for starters, I am not convinced it is not a racket.

We did this sort of thing about a month and a half ago:

I know you’re looking for data, which I don’t have (cuz I didn’t look! It may be out there.) I do think you should seek another opinion. You might find data out the ying-yang, or the wazoo, that support your hypothesis that braces are over-diagnosed. But that doesn’t prove that your daughter doesn’t need braces. And the thread to which ZipperJJ linked does delve into questions of problems that are best dealt with now, rather than as adults.

Ask your dentist specifically why the wisdom teeth need to come out and why she’ll need braces.

I found myself under pressure to have my wisdom teeth extracted “because they might cause problems later”. Uh… what? They MIGHT cause problems? They were fully erupted, intact, fully formed, well aligned teeth (yes, I do have a big mouth). I don’t see a point in extracting healthy teeth that aren’t causing problems.

My dad is 80 years old. He still has his wisdom teeth. Never a problem with them, guess it runs in the family.

After years of my parents being told if I didn’t have braces my teeth would be all crooked and misaligned and rotten and if I didn’t get my wisdoms extracted my jaw would explode… I’m sitting here in my 40’s with perfectly straight teeth that are cavity-free, no braces needed.

So YES, get a second opinion. Some dentists/orthodontists DO push braces far more than they are actually needed. Make sure the money really needs to be spent.

My dentist wanted to take my wisdom teeth out, I’m 45 years old and they never even came in. I said, “you know what, let’s leave them in and if they cause pain, I’ll remove them.”

Well, I can tell you that our orthodontist gives us the opposite advice regarding our kids braces-- he prefers to wait longer to give the jaw a chance to grow and favors extractions. He’s relatively young. My 14 yo just got his full set and will only need them about 18 mos.

Same experience with wisdom teeth - was advised to have them removed just in case, kept them anyways. Years later needed a bridge that had no other tooth that it could be anchored to but a wisdom tooth. If I’d had them removed pre-emptively, I would have had no options except tooth implants or dentures.

But if it’s apparent through X-rays that the wisdom teeth are going to be a problem, then see if it looks plausible to you and get that second opinion.

Your dentist has no motivation to recommend braces to you as he is not your orthodontist and will not profit from it. Ask him specifically why he thinks they’ll be necessary. Perfect-looking teeth aren’t necessarily perfect-functioning teeth, as you can’t tell how the jaws line up.

Hmmm … needscoffee needscynicism :slight_smile:

Does your dentist get kickbacks from the orthodontist?

While my suspicions match yours (and I still have all my wisdom teeth), sometimes even a layman can tell that wisdom teeth are going to be a problem. My son just had his removed and from the X-ray anyone could see that they were heading sideways and about to crash into his other (expensively straightened) teeth.

Do they work in the same clinic?

I have a small mouth and too many teeth. When my wisdom teeth were coming in, my dentist showed me an x-ray that clearly showed the wisdom teeth trapped under the curve of my back molars, pushing them up and such. It was pretty obvious.

However, this was when I was 18 or 19, not 10. But because I had the aforementioned small mouth and extra teeth, it probably wasn’t too big a stretch for my dentist to pre-suppose that I’d need braces or would have to remove my wisdom teeth.

Luckily, my dentist could remove my wisdom teeth himself. My sister and brother had to go to an orthodontist/oral surgeon, and seemed to have longer recovery times than I did.

Is it even possible to tell wisdom teeth will be a problem at the age of 10? I was 19 before the dentist said one word about them, and that was one of those cases where anyone could see from the X-rays that they were coming in sideways and needed to come out.

You don’t have wisdom teeth at age 10. According to Google, wisdom teeth only start to form in the jaw around age 9, and not until late teens or so will they become ready to erupt.

A lot if dentists believe ALL wisdom teeth should be extracted without exception, even those that cause no problems. It is a stance I disagree with, personally, but then I’m not a dentist.

I still get that from my dentist, and I am 55 years old. I have three normal wisdom teeth, and one that is impacted; horizontal against the next molar. It has been that way for 35 years, and has never caused any problems. But every visit, my dentists asks, "So what do you want to do about that wisdom tooth?.

This is anecdotal, yada yada yada…When I was about ten (almost 20 years ago now) my dentist also claimed I would need braces because there wasn’t room in my mouth for all my teeth. My jaw was too small, he said. My dad replied that, at ten, my jaw was still likely to grow, and the braces were declined. My jaw did grow, and I did not need braces. I now have one very slightly crooked bottom tooth, and everything else is just fine, straight and not crowded.