Intervention with simple techniques while the second teeth are developing often avoids more complex treatments and extractions later on.
Yes frequently, particularly if it is started as soon as the second teeth start to grow at around 6 years of age.
A child showing crowding and a lack of space for the new teeth to grow properly. Also, extra second teeth or other localised anomalies of tooth development. A narrow upper jaw, a receding lower jaw or a lack of growth in the upper jaw will benefit greatly from early orthopaedic treatment.
Polishing the baby teeth to provide more space for the new teeth to grow in straight, sometimes removing baby teeth earlier to give extra space needed and sometimes placing a fixed wire behind the lower teeth to hold the existing space that is often lost during the changeover to the second teeth. A narrow upper dental arch is a frequent candidate for widening with a small fixed brace behind the upper teeth, over a period of just a few weeks.
Before the new second teeth have begun to grow, usually around 6 years of age, is too young. From that time, the child should be assessed to see if interventional treatment will be of benefit and to plan the timing of any treatment that might be required. The correct timing of treatment can have a very significant impact on the quality of the result and the possibility of making growth changes in the face, to give the most attractive appearance and smile for later in life. Waiting for all the new teeth to grow in often means a compromise in treatment and a lost opportunity for maximum improvement in the face and smile.
Fixed braces and removable braces are the two main types.
Fixed braces use attachments on each tooth and include metal braces, and ceramic braces which can be almost invisible.
Orthopaedic braces to modify jaw and facial growth in the growing child can also be fixed or removable.
Removable braces generally involve a series of transparent "invisible" aligners which gradually mould the teeth into place. Sometimes a removable appliance is used behind the teeth to widen the upper dental arch or occasionally to move just one or two teeth.
An advantage of an "invisible" aligner type of brace is that it is almost undetectable, even close up. There are further advantages in that it is removable and that control visits can be less frequent, particularly with remote digital monitoring. Treatment times for simpler cases can be much shorter than with fixed braces.
This depends very much on the particular problem that needs to be dealt with and varies with each patient. That is why an early assessment of the child is so important so that the opportunity to provide the best aesthetic and functional result is not missed. In many cases two phases of treatment are carried out to get the best results, a first and simpler short phase during the development of the face and jaws and then a definitive phase when the new teeth have all grown in. This often means that the treatment can be easier and shorter during the teenage years, as many of the problems have already been resolved in the first stage.
This varies considerably but fixed braces are generally in place for around two years. Removable invisible Aligners may be anything from 5 months to two years.
Well planned and effectively carried out treatment will provide permanent results. However all teeth, even in an individual who never had braces, are constantly in movement throughout life and to preserve them in alignment and maintain that beautiful smile needs lifetime maintenance. Following treatment and initial stabilisation with retainers, at Bass Orthodontics we provide all our patients with unobtrusive maintenance appliances, to be used generally just one night per month and recommend observation reviews every few years to monitor the stability. Our reviews show that our patients really appreciate this unique lifetime supervision which we have recommended for over 50 years.
That is exactly what braces will do!