The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child receive an initial orthodontic examination as early as age 7. The timing of orthodontic treatment is extremely important and greatly affects the treatment result. Since no two patients are alike, there is not a specific age that is best to begin treatment. However, early diagnosis and treatment by a specialist can help prevent more serious problems. Dr. Terrana emphasizes early screening for correcting developmental and jaw irregularities during a child's growth stage.
Early Screening may give Dr. Terrana the opportunity to intercept a problem before it becomes more serious. The idea is to shift teeth, manipulate growth, create space for unerupted teeth, break habits and prevent trauma before it is too late. Children between the ages of 7 and 10 are best suited for interceptive treatment. They are flexible, compliant and their growth potential is still at a maximum. Treatment usually lasts 4 to 12 months after which the child is monitored and the decision as to the need for a second phase is made. Most children will require a second, more comprehensive, phase of treatment in order to create a completely stable, functional and aesthetic occlusion.
While most people tend to associate orthodontics with children, adults are also prime candidates for treatment. Adults of all ages will fully appreciate the return on their orthodontic investment with better dental health and a great smile.