Hello. My name is Dr. Tom Surber of Orthodontic Affiliates. Dr. Schmidt, myself, and staff are passionate about doing orthodontics without the removal of permanent teeth.
Many orthodontists today, when they do a consultation, they make the recommendation for removing teeth to create space to straighten teeth that are crooked or unsightly. Our philosophy is different. Yes, no extraction orthodontics. You probably don't have too many teeth.
Our solution is to do what we refer to as palatal expansion. It's a painless process by where we change the arch form in the mouth to accept the teeth that have been crowded out. For instance, if you look at the model on the left side, you will see that it is very tapered and narrow. And as a result of that, the permanent teeth cannot fit into the arch, so we actually have a double row of teeth in the front. If you look at the model on the right, you're going to notice that the arch form is U-shaped. That gives a broader aspect so that we can move the teeth in without the removal of permanent teeth.
Also, extraction of teeth requires a trip to the oral surgeon. It requires sedation. It requires recovery time. During the process of orthodontists, those spaces must also be closed orthodontically. Later in life those spaces can reopen. Also, the lower third of the face contour and support comes from the underlying teeth that support the lips and the cheeks. If teeth are removed, the teeth are moved back into the mouth. We lose lip support and we get undesirable changes in the lower third of the face.
Let me show you a couple cases. This was a gentleman that I treated in one of our office, and if you look at the pictures on the left side at the top, you're going to see the right side of the mouth, and you're going to notice that the permanent canine tooth is completely blocked out and that the lateral incisor tooth is completely blocked out and it's an unsightly appearance.
If you look at the middle picture, you're going to see that that was the cosmetic look at the time before the teeth were corrected, and you can also see on the left side that the teeth are in multiple rows and blocked out. With palatal expansion, we were able to change the arch form, allowing room for us to move these teeth without extractions.
As you will notice on the right hand side at the top, same mouth, same teeth, no extractions. Look at the cosmetic benefit plus the functional benefit that this person achieved from the process of palatal expansion and orthodontics.
Let me show you one more case. This was a young lady that I treated in our Michigan City office. Again, she came in with crowded teeth, a crossbite in the front where the upper front teeth were actually locked in behind the lower teeth. Again, because the upper jaw, in particular, was too narrow, there was not enough room for the teeth. So we did palatal expansion. We were able to then create all the space to go from this uncosmetic smile to this cosmetic smile.
Also, one other thing I want to add about palatal expansion, when we have a lot of lower crowding, as well, is when we expand the upper, it unlocks the lower, so that then we're able to treat the lower teeth without extractions. So there are many benefits to having your orthodontics done without the removal of permanent teeth.
I encourage you, if you're ever told by an orthodontist that you need to have teeth extracted, visit Orthodontic Affiliates. Let myself, Dr. Surber, or Dr. Schmidt, give you a second opinion. Thank you.
Dr. Tom Surber is a lifelong resident of Northwest Indiana. He attended St. Mary of the Lake Elementary School in Miller and graduated from Andrean High School. He attended Indiana University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry.
Dr. Surber matriculated to Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) in Indianapolis for his Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree. With a keen interest in orthodontics and as a former patient, Dr. Surber completed a two-year postdoctoral program at IUSD in the specialty of orthodontics and received his certification.
Outside of orthodontics, Dr. Surber has several other interests and hobbies. He is an amateur musician playing the piano and pipe organ. He is a past member of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus. Tom is a commercial, multi-engine instrument rated pilot. Other hobbies include fishing, boating, exotic cars, scuba diving, and snow skiing.
Dr. Surber and his wife Deborah, who have been married for 35 years, reside in Valparaiso, Indiana. Their son Dr. Timothy Surber is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon practicing in Merrillville and Valparaiso, Indiana with Stevenson and Fairchild OMS. Their daughter Sarah is a doctor of physical therapy with advanced certification in manual skills. She practices in Carmel, Indiana. Tom and Debbie are active members of Immanuel Lutheran Church Valparaiso, Indiana.
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