I look forward to sharing orthodontic ideas with you, derived from recent dental/orthodontic research and my experience.
The best time to get an orthodontic evaluation does not always equal the best time to begin orthodontic treatment. Consider the following:
- Appearance concerns
- The patient’s unusual skeletal growth, or lack thereof
- The patient’s day-to-day diet, homecare and oral habits
- The rate of eruption of permanent teeth and loss of baby teeth
The March 2011 edition of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics includes a spotlight article* which discusses preventive treatment to reduce the impactions of permanent canines. About 1.7-4.3% of the population experiences upper canine teeth impaction. The upper canines usually erupt about age 11. Impacted teeth can lead to extensive treament and risk of loss of teeth.
In this study patients aged 8-13 years had an orthodontic evaluation and panorex x-ray to check eruption of developing teeth. Measurements were made and the patients were assigned into groups. The patients at risk for impaction were referred for extraction of specific baby teeth and followed. Those at risk who had specific baby teeth removed experienced successful correction at 78.6% (with 2 baby teeth removed) and 97.3% (with 4 baby teeth removed).
Numerous OSL patients have benefitted from baby teeth extractions when the baby teeth have “overstayed their welcome”, or when an unusual eruption pattern is noted on the panorex x-ray. After periodic monitoring, many were then ready to proceed with treatment such as braces or Invisialign® without needing extensive surgery to correct impacted canines. The recent spotlight article confirms that a little intervention, at the right time, can reduce the need for extensive correction later.
Talk with you again, new topic!
Dr. Stephanie Steckel