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Early Interceptive Treatment

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What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?

Interceptive Orthodontics is a phased type of orthodontics. Growth is utilized to correct developmental occlusion problems. Staging the treatment can correct immediate problems and future issues. Interceptive orthodontics simply means diagnosing and treating malocclusions as soon as they are detected. The American Academy of Orthodontics now says all children should have an orthodontic assessment no later than the age of seven.

In the past, orthodontic treatment did not begin until around age 12-14. This is when all the permanent teeth are already erupted or very close to it. It was also common for your dentist to remove permanent teeth to correct the bite and allow for room for the final phase of tooth movement. Modern orthodontists now advocate a way to keep permanent teeth, with phased interceptive orthodontics. In interceptive orthodontics, children are treated at much earlier ages (usually between age 7-11 years old) to take advantage of continuing growth. Patients at this age tend to be more receptive to, and compliant with treatment. Interceptive orthodontics allows for fewer teeth to be extracted and also allows for better end results.

Some developmental issues requiring interceptive orthodontics include:

•  Constricted palate, causes misalignment of back teeth commonly called crossbite
•  Crowding of teeth
•  Uneven development of upper and lower jaw

Examples of Interceptive Orthodontics:

•  Expansion of the upper jaw to eliminate a crossbite
•  Expansion of one or both jaws to create space for overly crowded teeth
•  Early removal of specific baby teeth to facilitate the proper eruption of permanent teeth
•  Maintaining space for permanent teeth after the premature loss of a baby tooth
•  Reducing the protrusion of upper incisors to decrease the likelihood of fracture from trauma

What are the advantages of interceptive orthodontics?

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
•  Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
•  Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
•  Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
•  Preserving space for unerupted teeth
•  Expanding the palate to properly position back molars
•  Reducing the need for tooth removal
•  Reducing treatment time

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