The goal of interceptive treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together to allow the face to grow symmetrically and balanced.
This treatment is designed to treat an identified problem early, to avoid it becoming worse or to avoid more complex or more expensive treatment later. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop and a clearer picture of these problems can be observed at age 7-9.
An upper jaw that is growing too forward (protrusive) or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age.
Children around the age of eight that have very crowded front teeth, may benefit from early treatment to avoid the need to extract permanent teeth later.
Interceptive treatment can also be done to improve speech and breathing problems that are caused by poor dental or jaw development, to improve gum health, stop teeth being adversely worn (grinding) or to improve the self-esteem of the child if the teeth are aesthetically un-attractive and teasing or bullying is a concern.
Top front teeth that are too protrusive are also at risk of being bumped or broken. Phase 1 treatment may be a simple removable plate, a jaw expansion appliance or “partial” or “temporary” braces, that is braces placed on a few teeth to treat the major source of the dental or jaw discrepancy.
This treatment may be all that’s needed, or may require a 2nd phase of treatment later, once all the adult teeth have erupted. Early treatment is done to reduce or avoid the 2nd phase of treatment being more complex, invasive or more expensive.