Types of Early Orthodontic Interventions
The goal of early intervention and treatment is to ensure that more serious problems do not develop in the future. If an irregularity is allowed to progress, there is a chance that later treatment will be more complicated. Your oral health professional can improve the appearance of your child’s teeth and jaw, guide jaw growth, and provide advice and support on correcting poor oral habits.
Early intervention tends to fall into three main categories: preventive, interceptive and comprehensive.
The goal of preventive treatment is to avoid the development of malocclusion in a normally developing mouth. Your orthodontist may recommend removal of a baby tooth to create space for the corresponding adult tooth to erupt. Conversely, if a baby tooth has been lost too early, a space retainer appliance will hold that space for the corresponding adult tooth.
Interceptive treatments aim to reduce the complexity of a developing problem and eliminate the cause where possible. The ideal candidate for interceptive treatment usually has a mixture of adult and baby teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend appliances that modify the growth of the upper or lower jaws in ways that will encourage better alignment.
Comprehensive treatments are commonly used to correct growth irregularities. When the teeth are significantly misaligned or the jaws are functioning poorly, orthodontic treatment may be combined with tooth extractions and/or jaw surgery. Comprehensive treatment can begin prior to the loss of baby teeth, with several phases of such treatment required to optimize benefits.
If you have any questions or concerns about early orthodontic treatment, please contact your dental care provider.