Orthodontic treatment is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating conditions that affect the alignment of teeth and jaws. There are many indications for orthodontic treatment, such as overbite problems, crooked or crowded teeth, and deep overbites. In Finland, orthodontic treatment given to early primary or mixed dentition is considered early treatment. Väkiparta et al.
recently studied the application of early treatment and found a significant reduction in the need for orthodontic treatment in a group of Finnish children aged 8 to 12. The main indications for early treatment were anterior and lateral cross bites, increased squirting, deep overbites, and overcrowding. Keski-Nisula et al. also found the same indications for early orthodontic treatment. In a questionnaire, orthodontists were asked to report on what indications they would like to start orthodontic treatment in a child in primary, mixed early, mixed late or permanent dentition, and in adulthood.
The most common indications for orthodontic treatment during each stage of occlusion development were anterior and lateral cross bites, followed by characteristics related to class II malocclusions. Your dentist can detect a problem that orthodontics can help with and suggest that you consider it. Poorly developed jaws can contribute to problems with airway function, so it's important to get an evaluation from an orthodontist if you think you may need treatment. In 2001, Finnish government authorities proposed that national recommendations be established to reduce disparities in access to orthodontic care.
Most orthodontists (81 percent) recommended the first occlusion evaluation before age 7, and only two respondents recommended it later. The initiative related to orthodontic treatment in publicly funded health services is often decided by professionals.