Crowded teeth are a very common problem affecting many people. To straighten these teeth orthodontically, a dentist needs to make room in the mouth to fit all of the teeth in a nice straight line. Many times, the crowding is so severe that teeth have to be removed to make room. However, it is preferable to keep all of the teeth (except for the wisdom teeth) if possible. This way, it is easier to get teeth to mesh properly. The other alternative is to reduce the size of the teeth.
Teeth are coated with enamel, the hard white substance that we see in our pearly whites. It has no nerve endings, just like hair and fingernails, so it can be smoothed and shaped without the need for local anesthetic. A quarter of a millimeter can be safely removed from each side in between the teeth without causing an increase in decay. That doesn’t sound like much, but when that small increment is added up over an entire arch of teeth, that can amount to a few millimeters which can be enough to allow for an adequate amount of space to makes ones teeth picket fence straight.