Historically, most patients did not commence orthodontic treatment until all of their permanent teeth had erupted and then had a malocclusion diagnosed and addressed at the age of about 12-14. Waiting this long often necessitated the extraction of several permanent teeth in order to create space for orthodontic movement. More extensive movement necessitated the use of headgear and other orthodontic appliances. It was noted that teen cooperation in wearing such appliances was often problematic.
Interceptive orthodontics is a technique and philosophy which was developed to address certain orthodontic problems between the ages of 7-11.This early intervention and phased treatment can result in fewer extracted teeth and better patient compliance.
Some of the techniques used in this interceptive orthodontic phase include arch expansion, which allows more room for permanent teeth and orthopedic growth appliances which enhance jaw growth and make later orthodontic treatment much simpler.
Phase I treatment involves diagnosing and correcting orthodontic problems early in childhood in order to help the jaws develop in a way that accommodates permanent teeth and allows the upper and lower jaws to fit together properly.
• Palatal Expander: This appliance is used to orthopedically widen a narrow upper jaw. It can be used to correct crossbites (when upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth) or to make space for crowded teeth. There are several types, including:
• Banded Palatal Expander: This type of expander has metal rings that are glued to the back molar teeth.
• Bonded Palatal Expander: This type of expander includes a plastic portion that covers the back teeth. It is especially helpful when patients have an anterior crossbite (one of the top front teeth is inside the bottom teeth)
• Habit Appliance: This appliance is used to eliminate unwanted habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. At times, this appliance will also be incorporated into a palatal expander.
• Space Maintainer: This appliance is used to hold space as permanent teeth erupt.
• Headgear: This is a removable appliance, used mostly at nighttime, which helps to guide jaw growth into a more favorable pattern.
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23 Kilmer Drive
Morganville, NJ 07751
Phone: (732) 540-1318