Growth Modification Treatment

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Growth Modification Treatment

Because growth modification is at the center of orthodontic treatment, the younger the patient, the more ideal the outcome of the treatment is.

Here is an overview of the different stages of dental development

  • Primary Dentition (2 to 6 years of age)
  • Early Mixed Dentition (7 to 9 years of age)
  • Late Mixed Dentition (9 to 11 years of age)
  • Early Secondary Dentition (11 to 13 years of age)
  • Adults (After 13 for girls and 16 for boys)

Who benefits from early treatment?

Growth modification treatment has several important benefits to help children with their oral development.

Here is a list of benefits:

  • Children 7 to 9 years old with severe crowding
  • Narrowed upper jaw with or without crossbite
  • Those with habits such as thumb sucking, forward tongue posture (tongue thrust), or mouth breathing
  • Cases with large overjet (overbite)
  • Cases involving overgrowth of the lower jaw or underdevelopment of the upper jaw

During the growth modification process, we use special appliances to correct the shape, position, and/or width of the jawbone(s).  

Here is a list of the appliance used for growth modification:

  • Headgear - an appliance that uses pressure to guide teeth and jaw growth.
  • Herbst - an appliance attached to the upper and lower molars that corrects overbite caused by a small lower jaw.
  • Bionator - a removable appliance that guides teeth and jaw growth.
  • Palatal expander - an appliance that corrects cross bite by widening the upper jaw.

Growth modification is at the center of this orthodontic treatment, so beginning this process at the youngest appropriate age tends to produce the best outcomes. Early mixed dentition, which is marked by the emergence of the secondary teeth at the ages of 6 to 7, is considered the optimum age for treating most types of malocclusion.

For more information on growth modification and interceptive orthodontics, contact Dental Plus at 574-722-2233 today.