The teenage years between ages of 12 to 16 is the most common time for orthodontic treatment.
Usually by age 12, most, if not all, of your permanent teeth have erupted. Majority of our patients lies in this age group as most parents and even dentists still have the idea that orthodontic treatment can only start when all the “milk teeth” have shed and permanent teeth erupted.
Whilst this may be true in most cases, children ideally should have their first orthodontic evaluation earlier, at 7-8 years old.
Regardless of whether early or interceptive treatment has been instituted during the preteen years, we are able to treat most teenagers without extraction of permanent teeth. We believe that the dental, bone structures, facial soft tissues and muscles of teenagers are still not fully mature and therefore are amenable to modification and growth guidance during the 1 to 2 years of orthodontic treatment.
We prefer to always err on the side of caution and be conservative in the beginning with regards to the need of extraction. The approach is called “Therapeutic Diagnosis”
in which the true nature of the dental problems becomes more apparent and a more accurate diagnosis can be made as treatment progresses.