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Orthodontists and Young Children

(7 Posts)
Oakmaiden Thu 07-Jul-11 14:22:55

OK. I was wondering if anyone has any experience of this.

My daughter has recently started seeing a new dentist - after a gap of about 18 months when we couldn't find a dentist who would register us. She is 7, and has lost her front milk teeth, but they have not yet all been replaced by adult teeth. However, even with 2 teeth missing on each draw it is obvious her teeth are crowded, and likely to become more so.

So - the dentist is also an orthodontist who x-rayed her mouth and said that she has a very narrow jaw arch, and that there are a couple of options. The course he recommends is some immediate form of orthodoncy, which will expand the arch in her jaw, creating room in her jaw for her adult teeth as they grow in and probably solving her snoring and sleep problems and lessening her tendency to congested colds and glue ear as a consequence. Which obviously sounds great - except for the fact it is apparently not available on the NHS until she is 10. The dentist feels it would be better to carry out the treatment asap, so it will cost us about £1000 altogether.

Now, £1000 is a significant amount of money, and it would be hard for us to find. We would probably have to borrow it from somewhere. I have some questions I need answered to help me decide what to do, but I am worried that I am going to end up being charged for a consultation if I go back to talk about it again. So before I do that, I wondered if anyone here has any professional experience in this field, or experience as a parent of their child undergoing something of this nature at a fairly young age.

Does anyone know - are the results of orthodontic treatment better if started early? Is it quicker overall? Is it more or less uncomfortable for the child? Can a small jaw arch really cause all these problems? I just don't know what the best course of action is....

DeWe Thu 07-Jul-11 14:56:43

Dd1 looks like she may well have an overcrowded mouth too. Me and dh both did, so it's perhaps unsurprising. Her dentist said wait a bit and they'll see if they need to remove a couple of teeth.

It's the cost that makes me a bit hmm little bit convenient that she needs it asap but the NHS won't provide it until she's 10yo. I'd want to see research it will do all those things he says it will as I'm a bit skeptical, but I tend to be when miracle cures that cost a lot of money appear.

I wonder whether the fact he's an orthodontist actually increases him wanting to do this sort of thing. Occasionally professionals will want to do unusual opeative procedures when they come up because they don't get a lot of chance to do it*

*This is something that I've been told by a leading surgeon who gets frustrated with this happening and parents being mislead or pressured into putting their child through something they're not happy about.

Oakmaiden Thu 07-Jul-11 15:00:12

I think that is my concern too. That I only have his word that it is a problem and that it can be resolved in this way and is best done now. And he stands to gain significantly from it....

Maybe I should take her for a second opinion....

sneezecakesmum Thu 07-Jul-11 16:49:32

def get a second opinion. contact a private orthodontist and get them to have a look. Alternatively the local dental hospital for the opinion.

orthodontics is better started early btw

MillyMollyMardy Thu 07-Jul-11 17:40:02

NHS orthodontics will also only fund one course of treatment and the malocclusion being severe enough orthodontically (Google IOTN for the catagories)
There is a chance that she may not qualify for NHS orthodontics later if she has orthodontics now. So you need to ask about this.

I was not aware that there was any minimum age limit for orthodontics so could she could not have NHS care now providing she is severe enough and then you take your chances later on whether she still needs treatment.

I would definately request an NHS second opinion so ask to be referred for one. If the waiting time is long, the optimum time for arch expansion is roughly 7-9 when there is a growth spurt so you do have some time.

Oakmaiden Thu 07-Jul-11 21:25:33

OK. That is helpful - so a second opinion as to whether it is necessary and can be funded by the NHS , but in general now is a good time for this sort of treatment if it is needed.

MillyMollyMardy Thu 07-Jul-11 22:07:45

You should be able to get an NHS orthodontic consultation, with an unbiased opinion on the benefits of treatment. You are entitled to ask your dentist to refer you.
Arch expansion can be beneficial, it can lessen the need for orthodontics later. Regarding the glue ear, obstruction etc it's not my field I would ask the second opinion for their thoughts.

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