FPreventative orthodontics focuses on the elimination of factors, which if left uncorrected, would result in a worsening of the malocclusion. One example would be space maintenance due to premature loss of deciduous teeth, most commonly the canines and molars.
Maintaining space is primarily indicated when permanent tooth eruption will not occur for another six months or more.
Depending on the clinical situation, several techniques can be used to maintain space. Early exfoliation of canines or the deciduous molars might be an indication of ectopic eruption patterns or severe crowding and should be carefully evaluated along with the space maintenance. Another example of preventative orthodontics would be habit cessation due to a finger habit or tongue thrust.
Band and Loop Space Maintainer
Lower Lingual Holding Arch
Nance Holding Arch and Transpalatal Arch
Tongue Crib and Tongue Rake
Lacerations of the mouth (Intra-oral lacerations)
Many children require the guidance of dental and facial development as a first phase of orthodontic treatment, commonly called Phase 1 or Interceptive Orthodontics. If indicated, this is typically attempted in the mixed dentition or very early in the permanent dentition. For crowding problems, some lost space can be regained using appliances to reposition teeth to their original positions.
Attempts to regain space are usually limited to mild or moderate crowding, depending on a number of variables. In a case with very mild crowding, space regaining can be postponed until the patient is ready for comprehensive orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition.
Some patients have dramatic space shortages due to a general lack of space or space loss. If the crowding amounts to more than approximately 5 mm extraction of permanent teeth must be considered.
When the crowding approaches 10 mm per arch, serial extraction can be attempted if the molars are in a Class I relationship and the teeth present are in good health. The classic serial extraction procedure involves the extraction of the primary canines, which allows alignment of the incisors. The primary first molars then are extracted when the permanent first premolars have at least half of their root development.
While some parents question the value of consulting with an orthodontist when their child is only seven or eight and still proudly smiling their baby teeth, our view and that of the Kishore Dentals is clear:
Prevention is a much better alternative to long term expensive treatment, if you can avoid it, making that early visit is well worth the effort.
Numerous factors contribute to the onset of orthodontic problems - genetics, trauma, thumb / finger sucking, poor nutrition, poor oral hygiene, and dental disease. Seeing an orthodontist around the age of seven or eight is an excellent way of reducing or eliminating the need for more aggressive, complex and costly treatment down the track.
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