Interceptive (preventive) Treatment
We advise early referrals and assessment of children with different dental and skeletal anomalies or problems so that the right treatment can be planned at the right age. This will allow us to modify, stimulate or change the on-going dental and skeletal growth to stop anomalies or preventing them from getting worse. This is called dento-facial orthopaedics and is included in an orthodontist’s training. When a child is assessed as benefiting from interceptive treatment, he or she may not necessarily be eligible for treatment under the NHS, as the problem or dental/skeletal anomaly is not severe enough yet.
The assessment is normally carried out during the mixed dentition when there are still milk teeth present.
Early interceptive treatment at right age will in some cases stop the need for multiple extraction of permanent (adult) teeth. It can also reduce the time with conventional fixed braces when all permanent teeth are present.
Early treatment may involve
-expanding dental arches for preparing space for adult teeth to stop crowding of adult teeth,
-stimulate or slow down growth of the jaws with functional appliances and/or a headgear
– early extraction of milk teeth and maintaining the spaces with simple bar.
Research and experience shows that early expansion of narrow upper jaw at an early age can stop or improve problems with mouth breathing and snoring, and even change the direction of the facial growth.
We prefer always that patients are referred to us by their general dentist but accept self-referrals too. We would need to see the patient for a first exam with X-rays and photographs. The good news is that in the majority of cases teeth can be scanned rather taking impressions which sometimes can be an uncomfortable experience. No treatment may be required after having an assessment, but it can be planned to be carried out at a later stage at the right time.