Early Treatment

Why screen by age 7

The posterior occlusion (the way the back teeth fit together) is established when the first molars erupt at about age 6 or 7. At that same time, one can evaluate the anterior-posterior (front to back) and transverse (width) relationships of the occlusion, as well as discover any functional shifts.

Incisors have begun to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, habits, deep bites, open bites and some facial asymmetries.

For some, a timely screening will lead to significant treatment benefits; for most, the principal immediate benefit is a parentís peace of mind.

The dentist who makes timely referrals is rightly regarded as informed, caring and concerned for the total well being of the patient.

The benefits of early treatment

For those patients who have clear indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:

  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner.
  • Harmonize width of the dental arches.
  • Improve eruption patterns.
  • Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors.
  • Correct harmful oral habits.
  • Improve esthetics and self-esteem.
  • Simplify and/ or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics.
  • Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
  • Improve some speech problems.
  • Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.