Limited Orthodontics

Orthodontic Evaluation and Interceptive Ortho Treatments

Many people think of orthodontics as something that is only for teenagers. But, did you know that your pediatric dentist can spot problems with your child’s bite early on? Sometimes, these problems can be prevented or reduced by early treatment.


What Are Interceptive Orthodontic Treatments?

Interceptive orthodontists are treatments for children who have primary (“baby”) teeth. Some bite problems can only be addressed after all permanent teeth have been removed. Others should be treated immediately. With the goal to eliminate or reduce the severity of bite issues, early orthodontic treatments can be used to stop any abnormal growth and to guide the dental and skeletal development in the correct direction.

There are many types of interceptive orthodontic treatments. One example is that a pediatric dentist could recommend one of these:

  • Braces or other orthodontic appliances that can shift the teeth of erupted in an incorrect manner to prevent damage to adjacent roots
  • Orthodontic appliances can be used to expand the jaw bone. This will prevent severe jaw or bite problems.
  • Braces or other orthodontic appliances that shift severely misaligned and crooked teeth in order to minimize the risk of dental injury
  • Appliances to stop harmful thumb-sucking habits
  • Space maintainers can help prevent adjacent dents from shifting into the space caused by the premature death of a baby teeth
  • Extracting baby teeth to prevent crowding and aid the proper eruption


Are “Phase 2” Braces Necessary After Interceptive Orthodontic Treatments?

Possibly, yes. Parents should understand that interceptive treatments are not a substitute for future braces. Interceptive orthodontics can be used to reduce future orthodontic treatment such as extraction of permanent or orthognathic surgeries (corrective Jaw Surgery). The second phase of treatment is recommended for children whose permanent teeth have erupted. This will ensure that those teeth are properly aligned. Sometimes, interceptive orthodontics is referred to as “Phase 1” because they can be used in place of traditional orthodontic treatment.

Can Pediatric Dentists Perform Interceptive Orthodontics?

Yes, pediatric dentists are qualified to diagnose and provide preventive treatment for children with bite problems. We assess the development of your child’s jaw and teeth throughout their childhood. If we see any abnormal growth and believe early orthodontic treatments might help prevent or minimize severe bite issues, we will talk with you about your options. If we feel that interceptive orthodontic treatments will not be beneficial, we will refer the child to an orthodontist.

This content provides general information on oral health topics. This content should not be used as a diagnosis or treatment for any disease. It should only be used in conjunction with the advice of a qualified healthcare professional who is familiar with your particular case. If you have any questions about a medical condition or treatment, consult Dr. Rose.
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