Confessions of an Early Treatment Believer
Establishing an orthodontic home for your child by age 7 is the standard of care in the dental world. The American Association of Orthodontists endorsed that concept many years ago, and it is still viable today.
I graduated from my orthodontic residency in 1992. At that time, the concept of meeting and treating young children (age 7 and up) was not very common in our specialty. Orthodontists were taught back then to wait for all of the teeth to erupt, pull a few permanent teeth if there was crowding, put on the braces, and work our magic with the smile.
Fast forward to the present, and there are still training programs all over our country that teach this same concept. Unfortunately for those patients who go to these practices, they will never be given the opportunity to consider early treatment for their children and all of the advantages it presents.
University-based study after study supports early treatment in certain, specific situations. How will you know if your child will benefit from early treatment? Does your child have one of these special situations that would benefit from early intervention? The simple answer is to visit an orthodontic specialist who follows universally accepted early treatment principles as established by the numerous published articles on the subject.
Evidence-based treatment is something that my practice has followed since I first entered private practice in those early 90’s. Experience matters, and so does continuing one’s education after school is over. In orthodontics, things move slowly (and I’m not just talking about the teeth). Opinions are hard to change, and we generally need to wait a decade or two to evaluate stability and outcomes for our patients.
Studies that were initiated in the 1980’s are now being used as references for modern studies. The foundation was laid back then and now the proof of the benefits of early treatment is undeniable. The key to success? Bring your 7 year old in for an orthodontic consultation. We’ll make sure to apply the evidence and properly apply all of the things we have learned from our years of experience and attention to the modern teachings of the leaders of our profession.
Thank you for trusting us with the care of your child. There is no greater compliment that you can give to us than to put their smile into our hands. At Wise Orthodontics, we’ll treat it with the care and expertise that it deserves.