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Interceptive Orthodontics
 

Interceptive Orthodontics is usually carried out in children ranging from the age of 6 to around 12 years, and usually involves correcting a bite problem with either removable plates, or fixed braces to eliminate or reduce the potential problem that would otherwise result in treatment being more difficult or giving rise to complications later.

Examples include anterior crossbites (or reverse bites) that may cause gum recession on the lower teeth, posterior crossbites (or reverse bites) resulting in jaw deviation, small lower jaws needing functional appliances to help modify the growth of the lower jaw. Other conditions requiring monitoring or treatment include delayed eruption of permanent teeth (when the milk teeth fail to fall off).

Small lower jaw in growing adolescent

This 12 year old presented with a small lower jaw, deep bite and upper teeth that were sticking out (Fig A). Functional appliances (removable plates) were made and were worn dutifully for about a year which helped to reduce the severity of the jaw problem (Fig B) before braces were placed in to correct the alignment and bite of the teeth (Fig C). When started at the right age and with good compliance, functional appliances can help either eliminate or reduce the severity of a jaw problem, sometimes even eliminating the need for jaw surgery at a later age.

     
Fig A Fig B Fig C
     
 
 
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