Interceptive  Orthodontic Treatment

The term “Interceptive orthodontic treatment” refers to treatment carried out generally in the mixed dentition ( normally around 7-10 years old). This treatment can involve planned extraction of  deciduous teeth, simple orthodontic plates, partial fixed appliances ( 2×4 technique)  or both. The treatment can be carried out for a variety of reasons:

1. To stop or modify habits which could distort the teeth and jaws.

2. To try and align the permanent teeth as they erupt and thereby avoid the need for more complex (and expensive) orthodontic treatment later on.

3. To improve the alignment of the teeth and jaws such that even if more complex treatment is needed later, the results and the stability of that treatment would be greatly improved.

Partial Fixed Braces ( 2×4 or 2×6  technique)

Partial braces are placed on the upper or lower teeth to provide some early aesthetic correction or functional problems such as crowding, excess spacing or cross bites related to the front teeth. Usually we are waiting for remaining adult teeth to erupt. When a full complement of adult teeth is present, full braces would then be introduced.

Partial braces are generally worn for  a period of 6-12 months however, treatment length will vary with each individual case and complexity.

Palatal Expander (HYRAX)

What is it?

The “palate expander” or hyrax is a fixed expander. It expands the roof of the upper jaw (palate) and holds it while the teeth and bone adapt to that new position. This expander will remain in the mouth for a period of 3-9 months. The upper jaw (maxilla) is two separate halves during growth with an open suture down the middle. The expander will push the two halves of the jaw away from each other.

Expansion comes from having the teeth pushed out to the side, (dental expansion) but the majority of the expansion comes from pushing the two halves of the jaw away from each other (skeletal expansion). Because the jaw is wider, it makes more room for the teeth to fit in. The expansion occurs when you or your parent use a key to turn the expansion screw on the appliance. You will be given specific directions for your case regarding how often and when to stop.