Orthodontic problems are often caused by a combination of skeletal (jaws) and dental (teeth) factors. We are limited in how far we can move teeth due to the confines of the bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth; therefore it is important that the jaws are in the correct relationship to obtain an ideal result.
During his 20 years of teaching orthodontics and clinical practice, Dr. Shimizu has found that working with growth can correct many orthodontic problems before they require more complex treatment. Growth correction can prevent the need for prolonged treatment, jaw surgery and even extractions in many cases. The key is early assessment (7-8 years) so that care can be delivered at the optimal time.
There are many circumstances where a brief interceptive phase of relatively minor treatment at a younger age (before growth is complete and permanent teeth are all in) can make any future orthodontic care simpler and far less invasive. The types of malocclusions that fit into this category often involve molar crossbites, large overbites, underbites or severe crowding.
Still, not all children are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. There are many cases that are best treated when most of the permanent teeth have erupted. Our Orthodontists will base their decisions on each individual, what is best for their health and what is most cost-effective for the parent. If we decide to hold off on treatment, we will continue to monitor your child's growth and development at periodic no-charge observation visits. The options on treatment can become very confusing for the family because of what they've heard from their dentists or their family friends. Many don't know when it is time to visit the orthodontist. Therefore, for your peace of mind, early childhood assessment in our office is complimentary. This affords you the opportunity to discover your options and find out when it is best to start orthodontic care.