The recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontists is that every child should have an evaluation by an orthodontic specialist by age 7 or 8, even though there often is not an immediate need for treatment. The primary objective of the appointment is to screen for developmental issues such as missing, impacted, or ankylosed permanent teeth which do not always show up on the typical check-up x-rays taken by your general dentist. These developmental problems, if not recognized early enough, can create long-term problems and create a need for more complicated solutions.
We also evaluate which primary teeth your child has lost and which of the permanent teeth have come in. It helps the permanent teeth come in straighter if the primary teeth are lost at the right time and in the right order. Sometimes something as simple as the orthodontist asking your general dentist to remove a baby tooth early can also significantly help guide the permanent teeth into a better location. In most cases, the general dentist will not do this without a request from an orthodontic specialist.
Another objective of the appointment is to guide your family as to the most optimal time to begin treatment. We believe that identifying this optimal time will provide the best results in the shortest time.
We will schedule visits for your child to monitor their growth and development and together make the decision that’s best for your child.