It's best for Dr. Stevens to see children by age 7 or 8. This allows him to monitor growth and development and determine the optimum time for treatment. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, Dr. Stevens can sometimes guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment in select cases.
Dr. Stevens is conservative, and recognizes that some early treatment that can be done is of little long-term value to your child. He will gladly give you an honest assessment of the relative value of early treatment so that you can make an informed decision. He will use his ‘gold standard’ – what he would recommend for his own children. With over 25 years of treating patients conservatively he has found that employing early treatment on every child as a general practice is unnecessary and, in some cases, harmful. He will be as strategic as possible in order to give your child the best possible result with the least cost, inconvenience and treatment time.