Badri Thiruvenkatachari, Jayne E Harrison, Helen V Worthington, Kevin D O’Brien
Prominent upper front teeth are a common problem affecting about a quarter of 12-year old children in the UK. The correction of this condition is one of the most common treatments performed by orthodontists. This condition develops when the child’s permanent teeth erupt and children are often referred to an orthodontist for treatment with dental braces to reduce the prominence of the teeth. These teeth are more likely to be injured and their appearance can cause significant distress.
If a child is referred at a young age, the orthodontist is faced with the dilemma of whether to treat the patient early or to wait until the child is older and provide treatment in early adolescence.
Purpose of the Review
To assess the effects of orthodontic treatment for prominent upper front teeth when this treatment is initiated when the child is seven to 11 years old compared to when they are in early adolescence, or when treatment uses different types of orthodontic braces.
- The evidence suggests that providing orthodontic treatment, for children with prominent upper front teeth, in two phases appears to significantly reduce the incidence of damage to incisor teeth (middle four teeth at the top) as compared to treatment that is provided in one phase when the child is in early adolescence. There are no other advantages for providing a two-phase treatment i.e. early from age seven to 11 years and again in adolescence compared to one phase in adolescence.
- When functional appliance treatment is provided in early adolescence it appears that there are minor beneficial changes in skeletal pattern, however, these are probably not clinically significant. Similarly, the choice of functional appliance when compared to the Twin Block does not result in any advantageous effects.