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May 11, 2016

When is the right time to have Orthodontic Treatment for Children?

Tween and teenage years can be difficult. Increasing independence and freedom to express individuality along with the need to belong creates a heady mix of feelings, resulting in much well documented soul searching and angst…. Having a great smile won’t solve all teenage dramas, but it’s one less thing to worry about.

Here at Ten Dental we have a range of dentists and specialists, who work together, as part of a larger multidisciplinary team, to coordinate the needs of our patients along a pathway from initial consultation through treatment to the final end result.

One particular group of patients that we love to work with are teenagers and children.
Our Orthodontic and Paediatric Specialists assess and monitor the dental development of your child, to assess the need for any forms of interceptive orthodontic treatments – orthodontic treatment that ‘intercepts’ problems with the teeth before they become a major issue, potentially reducing the time, cost and complexity of treatment required.
Treatment can be started as early as 8 years old. You’d probably think- aged 8? What child has a brace at aged 8?

A BIT MORE ABOUT ‘INTERCEPTIVE’ ORTHODONTICS:
Any treatment carried out to eliminate or reduce the severity of an incorrect relationship or misalignment of the teeth when the two jaws are closed is classed as interceptive orthodontics. This treatment is carried out as the baby teeth fall out and the adult teeth erupt.
This may reduce the need for further treatment or make things simpleR.
We aim to diagnose and identify the problems of each patient individually, in order to determine the optimal time to begin treatment.

MAIN BENEFITS OF INTERCEPTIVE ORTHODONTICS

  • Guides the jaw growth and permanent teeth into more positive positions
  • Minimises and highlights the risk of crowding or impaction of adult teeth as they erupt into the mouth
  • Manages crowding and space issues
  • Early detection of decayed and traumatised baby and adult teeth, and their timely restoration or removal.
  • Using a brace to change the way the jaw grows during the teenage years:
    • To prevent trauma or injury – if the teeth are not straight
    • To remove / address a possible cause of bullying or psychosocial trauma
  • Correct any negative changes to the bite that have occurred because of habits such as thumb-sucking
  • Correction of jaw alignment or spacing problems
  • Correction of deep bites that are particularly traumatic to the roof of the mouth or gum tissue
  • Enhances appearance, confidence and self-esteem

TYPES OF INTERCEPTIVE ORTHODONTICS

  • Simple removal of a baby tooth and space created/ maintained to allow the adult tooth to come through
  • Upper removable braces to:
    • Slowly expand the upper jaw
    • To improve the position of 1 or more teeth that may be is a reverse bite
    • To help correct a deep bite
    • To help pull down an impacted adult tooth
    • As a space maintainer if a tooth has been lost to trauma/ when waiting for the adult tooth to erupt down
  • Upper fixed jaw expanders
  • Growth modification with functional appliances
  • A small section of “fixed train track braces” to improve tooth position and space distribution

 

ADOLESCENT TREATMENT

When any interceptive treatment has taken place the resulting alignment of teeth must be held in place with retainers ( which keep the teeth nicely aligned) as the rest of the permanent teeth erupt into the mouth. This is to maintain the position of the teeth and the jaws, as they have been corrected.

Early treatment is not necessary for everyone.
For many orthodontic treatment commences between the ages of 11 and 14, basically when the adult teeth have erupted and we can evaluate the whole picture of the orthodontic issue.

At this point we can assess the severity and need for orthodontic treatment. Currently in the UK not all orthodontic treatment can be supported by our National Health Service and checklists have been developed to help prioritise treatment provision within the NHS.

The Index of Treatment Need is the most reproducible index that is used by orthodontic specialists to assess this. It defines treatment need on a grading scale, both in terms of dental health benefits and aesthetics.
WHY SEE A SPECIALIST ORTHODONTIST?

Orthodontics deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disharmonies in the relationships of teeth and the face. Many orthodontic issues involve knowledge of the growth patterns of the jaws, so that any abnormalities can be detected early and early treatment can begin on cases that are more complex than initially anticipated.

In the UK, all dentists are able to provide orthodontics, and can even call themselves ‘orthodontists’. However ‘Specialist Orthodontists’ first qualify as dentists and have to follow a clear educational pathway, leading to a further three years of postgraduate training in orthodontics and dento-facial orthopaedics. This is a requirement to be registered with the General Dental Council as a ‘Specialist’.

At Ten Dental we have 4 Specialist Orthodontists, who use both their clinical expertise and knowledge from the most up to date evidence based research, on a daily basis. We use a range of braces, clear aligners and other orthodontic appliances, but also work in house with a range of other Ten Dental Specialists and dentists, ensuring that we work to achieve the best clinical result for you and your child.

As we get older, we learn that our smile is our weapon. When an adult patient comes to see me for their initial meeting, the main regrets they have are:
“I wish I had worn my retainer as a kid like my orthodontist told me too” or “I wish that I’d have had my teeth straightened as a teenager?”
A beautiful smile helps to boost your confidence and improve your self- esteem and no matter how small or big the issue, at Ten Dental, we recognise that the problem is important to you!
Our door is wide open and we are happy to meet you at any stage, its never too late.. so get in touch..

To book a consultation, simply call our Balham Practice on 020 8675 1798 or our Wandsworth Common Practice 020 8672 7766 or visit www.tendental.com

Written by Dr Annika Patel, Specialist Orthodontist at Ten Dental.


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