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Braces

Cross-bite of the lateral incisors.

05/11/2006

Question:

My daughter`s dentist referred her to an orthodontist for a slight misalignment of her molars. The orthodontist does not want to treat the molars since they are still baby-teeth, but still wants to fit her with a few braces because her new top lateral incisors sit behind the bottom teeth. Is there any problem with delaying treatment until the adult molars come in (so she won`t have to wear braces twice)? Do incisors ever pull forward on their own?

Answer:

This is a very good question.  The cost/benefit ratio of two stage treatment is something the American Association of Orthodontists focused on at the recent meeting in Las Vegas.  Most orthodontists would subscribe to early correction of anterior cross-bites and I agree.  The important thing to ask is how long will this first stage take?  It should be relatively short and then followed by observation.  Early cross-bite correction of the primary or baby molars is probably not cost effective.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University