Benefits of Pediatric Orthodontics in Your Practice
As children’s smiles develop, it is pertinent for dentists to take note of their jaw structure and occlusion. Pediatric orthodontics is a major component of dentistry, yet few dental schools and residency programs offer much coursework to prepare pediatric and general dentists. Fortunately, with more continuing education courses becoming available, dentists can now properly evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage their young patients’ needs more efficiently.
There are countless benefits to offering pediatric orthodontic treatment to your young and growing patients. Aside from straightening teeth, orthodontics has added advantages of improving airway health, self-esteem, TMJ health, and proper jaw development.
Remember that offering orthodontic treatment to your patients is not common as a pediatric or general dentist, but this is exactly why it provides a major service to your practice. It eliminates the need for referring out, increases patient retention, and boosts patient referrals.
If you are a pediatric or general dentist interested in offering pediatric orthodontics, we recommend you take a pediatric dentist orthodontic course first to improve your knowledge of the field and increase your confidence in diagnosis and treatment. Read on to discover some of the benefits of pediatric orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontics treats malocclusion.
General and pediatric dentists may see children from their very first dental visit, which is why it makes even more sense to follow their orthodontic journey from the beginning. When you are seeing pediatric patients for their biannual evaluations, orthodontic treatment is often referred out, but it should really be a component of all general and pediatric practices. The American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends all children have an orthodontic screening by age 7.
Orthodontic issues diagnosed early on can treat malocclusions that affect the way patients bite, speak, eat, and sleep. It is well documented that a misaligned bite goes beyond the oral cavity and can affect other medical conditions and quality of life.
A perfect smile and corrected bite are top benefits for your patients, and getting to witness their smile progress year after year will be rewarding for you and your team.
Orthodontics alleviates airway issues.
Achieving a perfect smile for patients is always a dentist’s goal, but orthodontics has numerous other health benefits. For patients who grind and clench at night, snore, wet the bed, exhibit behavioral problems, or are restless during the day, their symptoms may indicate a sleep disorder that can be resolved with orthodontics.
We know that tongue-ties are a major cause of sleep problems and can be relieved with a simple surgical procedure like a frenectomy and myofunctional therapy exercises. But oftentimes orthodontics is needed as an adjunct treatment to help widen the upper jaw and open the airway for better breathing.
A constricted airway is common in young patients. It could be congenital, or it could be caused by chronic habits like prolonged bottle or pacifier use or thumb-sucking. In any case, if a patient has a narrow upper jaw, orthodontics can improve a significant amount of dental issues by making space for teeth to grow properly and preventing long-term sleep problems like sleep apnea.
Orthodontics improves a young person’s confidence.
We have all seen that young patient who avoids smiling because they’re embarrassed of their teeth. Adolescents sometimes view themselves how they think others perceive them. Having a crooked smile or protruding teeth can cause low self-esteem and prevent them from socializing or having the confidence needed to achieve their goals.
Orthodontics is a simple solution to helping young patients get the smile they deserve. When you take online orthodontic courses, you are doing more than just learning how to rotate a tooth or bracket a molar. You are learning how to create confidence.
Orthodontics in young patients is effective.
It is an outdated view that orthodontics is not necessary until a patient has all of their adult teeth. In fact, orthodontic treatment is one of the top reasons parents seek dental care for their children. A mixed dentition is a great place to start a patient’s orthodontic journey because it can correct issues early on that may progress to more severe conditions if left untreated.
Some of the best orthodontic benefits for pediatric patients include:
- Correction of anterior and posterior crossbites
- Prevention of poor skeletal growth issues
- Reduced need for future surgical correction
- Prevention of potential trauma from protruding teeth
- Reduced chance of impacted teeth
Incorporating Ortho Into Your Practice
Implementing orthodontics into your pediatric or general dental practice has advantages that extend beyond financial and practice growth. Early treatment in your pediatric patients can certainly help them avoid more costly and invasive treatment later on. By offering orthodontic treatment within your practice, you are helping create lifelong healthy, well-balanced smiles. Not sure where to start? Check out our upcoming courses here or contact us for more information.