We suggest that children have their first orthodontic consultation no later than 7 years of age. While many people have corrective orthodontic procedures done early in their lives, it is not uncommon for adults and even seniors to undergo orthodontic treatments.
The Concept of Interceptive Orthodontics
Interceptive orthodontics is a technique and philosophy which was developed to address certain orthodontic problems between the ages of 7-11. This early intervention and phased treatment can result in fewer extracted teeth and better patient compliance.
Historically, most patients did not commence orthodontic treatment until all their permanent teeth had erupted and then had a malocclusion diagnosed and addressed at the age of about 12-14. Waiting this long often necessitated the extraction of several permanent teeth to create space for orthodontic movement.
More extensive movement necessitated the use of headgear and other orthodontic appliances. It was noted that teen cooperation in wearing such appliances was often problematic.
Some of the techniques used in this interceptive orthodontic phase include arch expansion, which allows more room for permanent teeth, and orthopedic growth appliances which enhance jaw growth and make later orthodontic treatment much simpler.
These early interventions act as Phase 1 of a two-step orthodontic treatment. Phase 2 will occur closer to the time when standard orthodontics generally takes place. Interceptive orthodontic techniques will allow Phase 2 of the treatment to become simpler, shorter, and less extensive than it otherwise would have been.
Contact our office to learn more or to schedule your appointment today.