Understanding Interceptive Orthodontic Treatments
Interceptive orthodontics is a type of treatment that leading orthodontists like Dr. Irena M Baker DDS have been doing for some time. It was not until recently, however, that other orthodontists in Seattle began jumping on board.
In the past, an orthodontist in Seattle would typically recommend that patients wait until they were 12 or 13 years old before beginning any type of orthodontic treatment. The school of thought behind this idea was that children could not begin orthodontic treatments while they still had primary teeth, or before their 12-year molars had grown in.
In the last decade, however, interceptive treatments have given many orthodontists second thoughts about the ages at which they begin to treat orthodontic patients. As an orthodontist in Seattle, Dr. Baker recommends that patients come in for initial evaluations between the ages of 7 and 8. This is the age recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists, and it is the age at which interceptive orthodontic treatments are most beneficial.
Interceptive orthodontic treatments have great benefits for younger patients. Dr. Baker says the main advantages of interceptive treatments are being able to create room for crowded teeth, preserving space for adult teeth that have not yet erupted, creating symmetry of the face by influencing jaw growth, reducing the risk of trauma to protruding teeth, reducing the need for tooth extractions and shortening the treatment time for braces.
Despite the many benefits of interceptive orthodontic treatments, the Seattle orthodontist says not every patient is a candidate. Children need to be between the ages of 7 and 11 to be considered good candidates of interceptive treatments, or at least at a point where their jaws are still growing, explains the Seattle orthodontist.
By treating children at this early stage, Dr. Baker is able to identify problems and prevent future issues. She can correct cross-bites when she sees jaws shifting in an asymmetrical way, and she can help patients who suffer from severe crowding or a lack of space for their permanent teeth to erupt. Interceptive treatments also helps orthodontists identify some severe skeletal growth discrepancies, minimizing the need for surgery. For example, patients with severe underbites that undergo interceptive treatments can generally get those conditions corrected without surgery. These patients may still need braces down the line, but the time they spend wearing braces will be greatly reduced.
For more information on the advantages of interceptive orthodontic treatments, Dr. Baker recommends contacting her office in Seattle.
Seattle, WA 98118
*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.