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Interventional orthodontics is a very modern approach to orthodontic treatment and it actually turns some long-held beliefs on their head. One of the things that people have come to learn about orthodontics is that doctors have to wait until all of the milk teeth in the mouth have fallen out and been replaced with permanent teeth. While this has been a solid treatment principle followed for a long period of time, it meant that the doctors did nothing even when they saw deciduous teeth (milk teeth) drifting into improper positions and thus sure to create space constraints for the permanent teeth.
The Basic Rationale Behind Interventional Orthodontic Treatment
The whole idea behind early intervention orthodontics is to identify those problems that can be rectified or at least minimized and then offer treatment. This is considered as phase 1 of treatment and does not mean that fixed orthodontic braces will not be required later on. It does, however, mean that if the first phase of treatment goes according to plan then the time span, as well as the complexity of fixed orthodontic treatment, will be reduced.
Who Needs Early Interventional Orthodontic Treatment?
Indications for early orthodontic treatment include milk teeth which have either fallen out too early or are still in place much longer than they should be. Children who are unable to chew their food properly due to teeth which are erupting improperly and thus causing interference in the chewing patterns are also candidates.
Parents will be able to recognize obvious discrepancies in the position of the milk teeth or erupting permanent teeth. These should be checked out to see if they can be treated at an early stage. Children who develop habits like thumb sucking and mouth breathing are almost certain to develop a lot of trouble when it comes to the position and functioning of their teeth.
These habits are much easier treated at an early stage when they are still not completely embedded into the psyche of the children. Early orthodontic treatment in such cases will greatly diminish the amount of treatment the children will need later in life while correcting the root habit at the same time.
Some children have speech defects like lisping which have their origins in easily correctable orthodontic problems. Certain myofunctional devices have been developed that help in the development of the jaws and thus prevent extremely expensive surgery later on in life.
If the jaws can be pushed into growing in the correct direction and to the correct size then it serves to reason that the permanent teeth have a much better chance of erupting in the right position.
The last indirect advantage of getting early interventional orthodontics is the fact that children whose teeth are protruding out or are meeting in an uneven manner are much more likely to injure those teeth during a fall. And we all know how prone children are to falls and blows to their teeth!
The American Association of Orthodontics now recommends that parents take their children in for an orthodontic consultation around the age of seven.