Interceptive orthodontics: What it is and what it’s for

Oct 29

Interceptive orthodontics: What it is and what it’s for

When we think of orthodontics, we think of patients who have overcrowded or crooked teeth that need teeth straightening. Orthodontic procedures gradually move the teeth to its correct position to make it straight and aligned. There are dentists who recommend their patients to have interceptive orthodontics. What is this early interceptive orthodontics and what is its difference from the usual orthodontic treatments we see nowadays?


Interceptive orthodontics: An overview

Orthodontics is a branch of or specialization in dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and modification or improvement of crooked teeth and jaws. This specialty uses appliances that are designed to gradually move the teeth and straightening its alignment, like braces, dental aligners, and retainers.

Interceptive orthodontics, by its name alone, is the type of orthodontics that ‘interrupts’ the development of the crooked teeth. Early interceptive orthodontics simply means procedures that align teeth while a patient’s dentition is still young and more manageable.


Early interceptive orthodontics benefits

Moving the teeth is easier when you are young. Because a child’s teeth and jaws are still developing at age 6 or 7, this is the best time to bring them for assessment and consultation. If they are a good candidate for interceptive orthodontics, the treatment will be faster and easier since the jaw and teeth can still be easily moved.

Early detection can prevent further serious complications. Think about it, if any problem is not discovered earlier, serious consequences can spring out of it, right? No prevention or simple countermeasures can satisfy the need to solve it. That is the same with malocclusion. If your teeth misalignment gets discovered later in life when your jaws are already fully developed and your teeth are already fully erupted, treatments and solutions may be more complicated compared to early detection.


What conditions need interceptive orthodontics?

  • early interceptive orthodonticsLocal factors, like tooth impaction of first molars, retained deciduous teeth, or a delayed eruption of primary teeth
  • Crowding
  • Early loss of primary or baby teeth
  • Ectopic or displaced eruption of canines
  • Dental diastema
  • Crossbite
  • Functional mandibular displacement (leading to temporomandibular disorder or TMD)
  • Childhood habits like thumbsucking and prolonged use of pacifiers


Early orthodontics cannot solve

It is true that this orthodontic specialty can get rid of or lessen the severity of a budding malocclusion, simplify the complexity of orthodontic treatment, and reduce the overall treatment time and cost of the dental procedure. It can also improve a patient’s self-esteem and interpersonal relationships in later years while strengthening parental bond and satisfaction. However, there are things that limit the efficiency of early orthodontics. These are:

  • Lack of awareness among children and parents
  • Critical craniofacial or head growth
  • Persistent and unrelenting habits
  • Congenital defects (missing teeth, absence of teeth)
  • Manageable factors like poor oral hygiene, low pain tolerance, and lack of motivation


Correcting your child’s teeth alignment may be a bit complicated if you think about it at first, but once you know the benefits it gives you in the long run, undergoing early orthodontics can surely be worth it.

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