Comparing Orthodontic Treatments For Children & Adults
In the world of orthodontics, adults and children are treated very differently. According to Dr. Earl Broker, an orthodontist in Cherry Hill, NJ, who practices at Voorhees Orthodontic Associates, pediatric patients are generally much easier to treat.
Just because pediatric patients are easier to treat, however, does not mean that treating adults is necessarily difficult. Dr. Broker emphasizes that the recommended course of treatment for adults is completely different than the recommended course of treatment for children, making it difficult to compare the two.
When an orthodontist in Cherry Hill discusses pediatric orthodontics, he is usually talking about children between the ages of six and seven. Dr. Broker prefers seeing children around this age, or as soon as their first permanent molars have erupted. It is at this point when bone or arch growth discrepancies will begin to appear. A bone or arch discrepancy is when the top bone in the mouth is too narrow for the bottom bone, or the top bone is too far ahead of the bottom bone. The ideal time to correct this type of bone discrepancy is between the ages of six and seven.
Obviously, if a child’s mouth is too crowded then his adult teeth will not have room to grow in. In these cases, the Cherry Hill orthodontist says it’s important to make room in the mouth for the teeth to come in as straight as possible. These treatments usually only last between 10 and 12 months when done on children between the ages of eight and 10, explains Dr. Broker, because children at this age have roughly 20% of growth factors remaining. If an orthodontist in Cherry Hill waits until the child is age 12 to address is bone growth discrepancy, then only 10% of the growth factor will be remaining. Therefore, an orthodontist has double the growth value remaining to fix a problem if he starts a child in orthodontics at an early age.
This helps to explain why it is so tremendously advantageous to catch the bones up while they are still growing. Treating an adult with these same issues is much more difficult because adult patients have no more bone growth left. An orthodontist facing this type of case would have few options besides extractions, although Dr. Broker says it is sometimes possible to complete a case even if the bones are somewhat off. On larger discrepancies, adult patients are often faced with choosing between extractions or dental surgery.
Voorhees orthodontic Associates
Cherry Hill, NJ 08043
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.