Early (Interceptive) Treatment

Early (or interceptive) orthodontic treatment questions come up quite a lot at the office. We thought that which follows is a good explanation of why our practice  tends to prefer the conservative approach for the most common type of malocclusion (Class II or buck teeth), while at the same recommending that certain issues be treated early to allow for normal growth and development or to diminish teasing at school. Please let us know if you have any questions.

"Some children who start too early can end up in a second phase of treatment, with braces into their preteen or teenage years despite having started at a younger age.

Research (University of Florida) has shown that Class II malocclusion, commonly known as overbite or buck teeth, is probably better treated at a later age. Starting early can lengthen the overall treatment time and overall treatment costs. The research indicated that there was no discernable advantage to early treatments...

It may be best to treat severe overcrowding or protruding teeth problems early to help with adjustment issues that may arise in social environments...

Early treatment for other conditions, however, is recommended. Class III malocclusion, or underbite, is best treated at earlier ages, e.g., 7 years old, to influence ongoing growth patterns before the age of 10.

No definitive studies have demonstrated statistically significant correlations between length of treatment with the age at which treatment was started."

Adapted from the Editorial Staff at Orthodontist-Dentist.com. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.