Many young children don't have enough arch space for their teeth. Narrow arches as well as crowding create dental malformations that require treatment to move the teeth into better positions.
Treatment can range from simple space maintainers to full arch adult orthodontic repositioning of teeth. In addition, early care has become commonplace in a much younger group of children than in the past. Twenty to thirty years ago, the standard of care was to initiate treatment at around age 15. Waiting until the eruption of the complete adult dentition many times compromied the outcome of the aesthetics and treatment goals. Early intervention also greatly reduces the potential of having to remove permanent teeth. Today, children are being treated at much earlier ages (even as young as five years old) because issues can be treated much easier at a younger age. Managing spaces and developing arch dimension through orthopedic appliance treatment at early ages can in many cases eliminate the need for comprehensive orthodontics in the future.
An exciting development in orthodontics has revolutionized treatment of less complex dental malocclusions. This concept utilizes clear aligners that provide limited movement over a period of weeks to accomplish a sequence of change dictated by each aligner. A final treatment goal is managed and developed with 8-16 clear aligners utilized over a period of months. There are many systems utilizing this concept for treatment on the market today. Examples include Clear Correct, Invisilign, and Clear Force to name to a few.
Treatment planning and diagnostic impressions for aligner fabrication are now completed with the aid of digital optical scanning which capture the data that was previously accomplished via traditional impressions and stone models. The technique is now greatly streamlined in the form of comfort and treatment with the use of advanced technology.
The balance between esthetics and function for eating harmonize in the field of orthodontics. The chance to offer patients a life-changing experience in the form of their appearance is truly one of the great benefits to providing orthodontic care.