Early Orthodontic Treatment
In order to keep teeth functioning well and ready to go the distance, it is sometimes necessary to perform some procedures to correct common issues before they turn into big problems. That is one of the goals of early interceptive orthodontics. We aim to find developing issues as well as signs of future problems, and intercept them before they can damage a patient's teeth, mouth, or jaw. We are happy to offer a variety of early interceptive orthodontics treatments to our patients, and we encourage you to bring your child in for a screening. According to the American Academy of Orthodontics, children should undergo orthodontic assessments by the age of seven.
What is early interceptive orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a broad subject that covers a wide range of practices. Early interceptive orthodontics, on the other hand, is a more specific term that refers to a phased treatment kind of orthodontics. Essentially, this means that we work on staging treatment in order to help prevent future issues and correct immediate problems. More specifically, early interceptive orthodontics focuses on treating children in order to avoid more serious issues that could develop as they age. To meet this goal, the average treatment age of patients is around seven to eleven years old.
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What is different about early interceptive orthodontics?
Early interceptive orthodontics is different than more traditional orthodontic treatment in that it works to keep all permanent teeth firmly in the mouths of patients. It was not uncommon in recent history for orthodontists to recommend pulling permanent teeth in the crowded mouths of children or adolescents in order to make room for the last phase of tooth movement as well as to correct bite issues. With early interceptive orthodontics, our staged treatment approach works to keep permanent teeth in the mouth while still correcting bite issues. The end results are more stable and are overall better in many instances than those achieved by more traditional care.
Does my child really need interceptive orthodontic services?
Parents are generally not too keen on the idea that their children should begin dental and orthodontic treatment at a young age. What we hope to convey, however, is that starting staged treatment when children are young is a better way to help ensure your child’s bite and permanent teeth develop correctly, which will lead to fewer problems in the future. Major corrections that might otherwise need to take place over the course of months (or years) for adolescents can be done much more effectively and quickly using interceptive orthodontic approaches.
There are some specific risk factors that could increase your child's need for orthodontic services. These include sucking on their thumbs for too long, which can result in a plethora of issues, including things like a misshaped jawbone, narrow dental arches, misaligned teeth, open bites, and even protruding front teeth. All of these issues can be treated using interceptive orthodontic services, however, which is why the treatment is so useful.
To find out more about early interceptive orthodontic treatment, reach out to our office today!