Interceptive orthodontics is a phased type of orthodontics which is the practice of extracting malocclusions once they are detected in an attempt to avoid adult malocclusion. Tooth growth is used to address developmental occlusion problems.
Interceptive braces guides jaw growth to avoid extractions, One common situation where it may be advantageous to consider interceptive orthodontics is when our patient’s jaws aren’t quite large enough to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. When those teeth begin coming in, they may in poor alignment, or too close to one another. This kind of malocclusion results from too much crowding and not enough space in the jaw. It can not only make it harder to maintain good oral hygiene, but may also make you unhappy with the appearance of your smile.
A metal space maintainer will hold open the space created by the premature loss of a baby tooth until the permanent teeth start to erupt.
Interceptive orthodontic treatment doesn’t always involve the movement of teeth or jaws. Sometimes it can be as simple as preserving space for future teeth. An example is the use of a “space maintainer.” This is a small device that is sometimes used where a primary (baby) tooth has been removed, or has come out prematurely. Commonly made of acrylic or metal, it holds a place for a permanent tooth to come into. In many situations, keeping this space open allows the permanent tooth to erupt in an optimal location, and makes re-positioning it unnecessary. This is a common situation where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Even adults can need orthodontic treatment. Many orthodontists say kids should see an orthodontist once their permanent teeth start coming in, around age 7. At this age, issues such as uneven bite and overcrowding will become apparent. Starting the process early doesn’t mean a child will get braces right away.