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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 99-102

Timing of orthodontic treatment

1 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology, Pacific Dental College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Mahesh Jain
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2321-3825.123320

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General dental practitioners are the first to examine and screen children for developing malocclusions and hence they are most responsible for correct diagnosis and referral. They are often faced with the dilemma of deciding at what age to refer for a further opinion and treatment. This entirely depends on the problem that has been diagnosed and the dental state of the child, but there is always a question that is there an "ideal" time for orthodontic treatment, if the clinician wants to maximize the benefits of growth and development without subjecting every child to fixed mechanotherapy for years. The controversy surrounding early versus late orthodontic treatment is often frustrating and confusing to the dental fraternity. This article looks into both sides of the issue for orthodontic treatment of Class II and III malocclusions along with the problems in the transverse dimension and vertical dimension. Early orthodontic treatment is effective and desirable in specific situations. However, the evidence in the form of Randomized Control Treatment is equally compelling that such an approach is not indicated in many cases for which later, one-phase treatment is more effective and efficient. Therefore, dental practitioners must decide on the basis of their experience and clinical judgment when to advise orthodontic treatment. For many patients, delaying the treatment may be advisable to obtain advantage from dental and skeletal development.

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