Orthodontic treatment

Some orthodontic problems are usually better treated early prior to the eruption of the permanent dentition.

Space maintenance

The premature loss of baby teeth due to decay or trauma can lead to undesirable tooth movements. This loss of arch length can result in crowding, excessive overbite or rotations. Space maintainers can sometimes help in these circumstances. Space maintainers can be removable or bonded to the teeth.

Space regaining

Following the loss of space in the arch or when there is a natural lack of space for teeth, early treatment may be of benefit. Removable plates or braces can be used in the early dentition to regain space for the permanent teeth.

Extractions

The use of extractions has greatly diminished. Due to the improvements in orthodontic braces and changing concepts in facial balance, extractions are employed less frequently nowadays. If extractions are required they are an adjunct to, not a substitute for comprehensive orthodontic treatment with braces.

Enamel defects

Where there is severely defective enamel on the first permanent molars sometimes these teeth may be extracted. The ideal time to extract the molars is about 9 years old. This will allow the second permanent molars to erupt into the position of the extracted first molars. Some orthodontic treatment with braces is likely to be required to ensure that the position of the second molars results in a good occlusion.

Cost

The cost of a plate or partial braces will start at several hundred dollars. The cost will vary depending on the complexity of treatment and the time required to correct the problem. It is worthwhile organising a consultation with your orthodontist to find out the cost of treatment. Some types of treatment may cost less than you would expect.

Conclusion

Certain orthodontic problems will benefit from early intervention. When deciding on early orthodontic treatment the orthodontist will assess whether the treatment will provide any significant benefit to the child, especially in the long term. Early intervention is appropriate only where a problem is likely to deteriorate to the extent that correction in the permanent dentition will be compromised, or irreversible damage is likely while waiting to start treatment later.