What is ‘Serial Extraction’ in my child?

What is planned teeth removal in children?

Serial extraction or planned teeth removal in children is the process of planned, selective removal of some milk teeth and/or adult teeth to help new teeth come into proper positions. 

Why is a planned removal of teeth required in my child?

Your child has only milk teeth upto the age of 6 years. From the child’s 6 th year onwards the adult teeth begin to erupt in the mouth. The upper and the lower front milk teeth begin to fall off from approx the 7 th year. The adult teeth begin to replace them at this time. This is the ‘Mixed Dentition’ phase of the child. 

The adult teeth are wider than the milk teeth. When the space for the adult teeth is lesser in the mouth, then there is crowding in the arch. To avoid this crowding, some of the milk teeth are removed in a sequence. This creates space for the adult teeth to come into proper position.

Will my child need additional clip treatment after serial extraction?

Says Dr  (Prof) Anupama Savadi, Senior orthodontist——“ Certain appliacnces that help us expand the upper bone arch may be required in certain select cases during the planned tooth removal. Not all cases will need this appliance. However, once all the adult teeth come into the child’s mouth, some amount of clip treatment may be required to make the finer corrections of tooth rotations and root alignment. This is required to give a stable bite relationship in the child’s mouth.”


Do all children need the serial extraction?

Serial extraction will not be required for all the children. Dr Anupama says——“ Serial extraction is planned in a child who has an arch deficiency of 10 mm or more. Even in a child who will need this treatment not all milk teeth prescribed will be removed. Tooth removal will be done in phases after observing the growth patterns in the child. Generally, the first phase is between 7-9 years. Then the next 2 years the child is under observation. Subsequent tooth removal is planned according to the arch space requirement. All treatment procedures will bre conducted only after taking the content of the parents.”

Who is not eligible for a serial extraction?

Certain jaw growth conditions are no conducive for serial extraction. Patients with class 2 malocclusion or children with jaw growth deficiencies are not ideal candidates for serial extraction.

Please get your child assessed by  your dentist regularly. The 6 th year visit to the dentist is a must. Your dentist will schedule an appointment with the orthodontist, if he detects any possibilities of crowding and arch length deficiency in your child. Dr Anupama concludes———“ Every child deserves a happy and fulfilling childhood. Malaligned teeth can cause your child to develop a low self esteem. A simple visit to your dentist can help your child develop  good oral hygiene habits and a confident personality.”


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