Journal Article

Serial extraction as a corrective procedure in dental orthopaedic therapy

Birger Kjellgren

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 29, issue suppl_1, pages i37-i50
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Serial extraction as a corrective procedure in dental orthopaedic therapy

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According to experience, malocclusions characterized by crowding of the teeth and contraction of the jaws usually cannot be treated with lasting results without reduction of the number of teeth. In some of these cases acceptable results can be obtained just by extractions, even without the use of appliances. In order to direct the development of the occlusion in contraction cases along the most favourable lines, it is suitable to plan for the advisable or necessary extractions at an early age. The extractions will concern at first certain deciduous and later some permanent teeth. This line of extraction treatment is called serial extraction by the author, who has practiced the method for about 20 years. A serial extraction is usually performed in the following way. If in a contraction case the incisors, particularly the laterals, are erupting in crowded and distorted positions, extractions are made of the deciduous canines. This treatment will, in well diagnosed cases, result in a very clear improvement of the incisor positions. Some year later extraction of the first deciduous molar might be done to facilitate and speed the eruption of the first premolar. At the time of the eruption of the permanent canines an extraction of some permanent tooth, usually the first premolar, is made, which will facilitate the normal eruption of the canines. The serial extraction method is practised in both jaws in cases of bimaxillary contraction, Class I. In Class II cases with contraction and protrusion of the upper jaw, it is employed in the maxillary arch. In cases of Class III characterized by crowding of the lower incisors, serial extraction is used with good results in the mandibular arch. The serial extraction method is more suitable in cases of normal overbite or even open bite than in cases of deep overbite. According to experience, it does not cause impaction or retardation of eruption of the canines. Serial extraction is a suitable preliminary treatment technique in those cases in which subsequent appliance treatment is planned, since it will often greatly facilitate this later treatment.

The author illustrates the serial extraction method by a casuistic including treated cases.

Journal Article.  6254 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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