What is an Early Orthodontic Treatment?
In our practice, we find that approximately 40 percent of our patients can benefit from some form of early treatment. Early orthodontic treatment prevents more serious problems from developing and makes treatment, at a later age, shorter and less complicated.
Early treatment involves the use of orthodontic appliances, or partial braces to guide the growth of developing jaw bones and creates a better environment for the adult teeth as they emerge.
In most cases, this early phase of treatment is followed by comprehensive orthodontic treatment (Full braces) at the appropriate age. This second phase of treatment is usually shorter, less involved and more effective due to the earlier treatment program.
In most cases, we can achieve results that wouldn’t be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. Early treatment gives us the chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to the protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip wedging
- Improve appearance and self–esteem
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Improve the way lips meet
The American Association of Orthodontist Recommendation
The American Association of Orthodontist recommends that all children should have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. An experienced orthodontist can clearly see by age seven whether developmental issues can turn into problems. Early detection of common orthodontic problems such as crowding, premature loss of baby teeth, cross bites or many other unfavorable developmental issues can lead to the implementation of the most appropriate treatment that can result in a shorter course of therapy.
Frequently, early intervention will not be necessary, except for careful monitoring of your child’s dental development. This will give you peace of mind when it is not clear to you whether an issue you see is really a problem or just a stage of development that doesn’t require intervention.
What are indications for early treatment?
The patient would benefit from early treatment if any of the following are present:
- Early or late loss of permanent teeth
- Difficulty in chewing
- Breathing through the mouth
- Thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked–out teeth
- Jaws that are that are too far forward of back
- Biting the cheeks or into the roof of the mouth
- Front teeth that do not meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalance facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
How Does My Child Benefit From Early Treatment?
There is significant research in the area of multiphase orthodontic treatment. The most effective Phase 1 treatments Dr Young has found are:
Palatal Expansion — Early expansion fixes cross bites and makes room for teeth which a) might not erupt on their own or b) would erupt really crooked. Early expansion also eliminates lower jaw shifts, which, if left as is, will cause the lower jaw to grow off to one side.
Maxillary Protraction — most underbites are caused by the upper jaw (maxilla) not growing forward as it should. In a young child, these maxillary bones are easy to reshape. Maxillary protraction can make this upper jaw grow forward to correct the young patient’s bite and profile.
Partial Braces — can be applied to the four front teeth if they are very crowded in a 7–9 year old patient. These front teeth can be straightened relatively quickly (3–6 months), improving the patient’s appearance and also creating room for the posterior (back) teeth that will erupt in the future.
Space Maintenance — space maintainers are passive appliances that if placed at the correct time, can assist the eruption of the posterior permanent teeth, causing them to erupt much straighter than they normally would.
The majority of our early patient visits result in observation only–at no cost to the parent.
Early orthodontic treatment will improve your child’s smile at a young age, boosting their self esteem. It will also improve the stability of our final orthodontic result.
Why Didn’t my Dentist Mention That?
The art and science of Orthodontics involves years (after Dental school) of specialized orthodontic training. Dr Young makes the decisions regarding the appropriate care based on his expertise he has acquired after thousands of hours of not only training, but in the treatment of his patients.
Most family dentists are very busy taking care of teeth and gum issues that affect the health of the mouth. They are not trained to spot early orthodontic problems which, if left untreated, complicate the future orthodontic correction.
It is best that a qualified Orthodontic specialist be the one to make the decision about when to start your child’s orthodontic treatment and you DO NOT need to be referred by your dentist.
How do I have my child evaluated by Dr. Young?
The first step is to call our office and set up a free initial screening exam. You can also email an
appointment request here.
This screening appointment usually takes 15–30 minutes. Our goal is to provide you with the following information:
- We will identify your child’s orthodontic problems, if any
- We can pinpoint the best time to start treatment
- We can estimate the duration of treatment
- We can demonstrate the types of appliances that will be necessary for treatment
- We can discuss the cost of treatment and our payment options
Sometimes, Dr. Young will suggest taking photos and a panoramic x–ray in order to provide you with all of this information.
Orthodontic Treatment Monmouth County, NJ
For more information on getting your child an early orthodontic treatment Call or email us today to set up your New Patient appointment.
For our Brick NJ office call 732–477–1808
For our Colts Neck NJ office call 732–761–9700
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