First Defense (8-11 Years)
Early treatment refers to treatment that occurs during the mixed dentition phase. Mixed dentition refers to a stage in dental development when there is a combination of adult/permanent and baby/primary teeth present. The majority of early treatments occur on patients between the ages of 8-11 years.
Early treatment almost always necessitates a second phase of treatment later when the permanent dentition is complete. For these reasons, it is our philosophy is to reserve making early treatment recommendations to select cases where an early intervention would provide significant benefit, if not, make what we need to do later easier, better and more stable.
The following includes a short list of our indications for early intervention:
Anterior crossbites (single or multiple teeth. The issue here is that one or more lower front teeth bites in front of or ahead of an upper front tooth or teeth.
Skeletal constriction of the upper arch with unilateral or bilateral posterior crossbite relationships. In this instance, the upper jaw is narrower than its lower counterpart and the upper back teeth fit inside the lower back teeth on one or both sides.
Anterior open bite indicates there is an opening between the upper front teeth and lower front teeth when the back teeth are in contact. This issue occurs as a result of a thumb- or finger-sucking habit or tongue thrusting habit on swallow. This is the most unstable and difficult bite issue for orthodontists to fix. The sooner it is addressed, the better as continuation of these habits can adversely affect facial growth necessitating a combination of orthodontics and jaw surgery later.
Severely protrusive and/or irregular upper front teeth which are at greater risk of trauma or where psychosocial issues are of concern. In the case of protrusive or "buck" teeth, treatment is particularly important if your child is very active and /or accident prone. It is a parent's worst nightmare when his/her child's front tooth/teeth become(s) either broken or knocked out, since it will never be the same.
Excessive dental overjet. Overjet refers to the amount the upper front teeth stick out ahead of the lower front teeth. Overjets of 6mm or more are indicative of there being a skeletal discrepancy between the growth of the upper and lower jaws, i.e. the lower jaw is short/recessive relative to the upper jaw.
Resolution of select cases of serious crowding with serial extractions. Sometimes it is beneficial to remove a series of baby teeth and then adult teeth at controlled times to assist mother nature in improving the case on its own limiting the amount of treatment needed later.