Pediatric orthodontics offers a lifetime of great oral health.
The North American orthodontics industry is worth $2.26 billion. With adult orthodontic procedures grabbing more of the headlines in recent years, it’s easy to assume that’s where our focus should be.
In fact, it’s pediatric orthodontics that brings the greatest benefits to our patients. Childhood and adolescence provide an opportunity to create long-lasting outcomes for patients. Interventions at this stage can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits adding pediatric orthodontics can bring to your patients and your practice.
1. All Services Under One Roof
Inconvenience can be a major barrier to parents seeking orthodontic care for younger children.
Your practice already has the advantage of having a relationship with the patient and their parents. You can add serious value to your offering by also caring for their orthodontic needs under the same roof. You save your patients a referral out, and them having to schedule even more appointments at multiple practices in their busy lives.
2. More Comfortable for Kids
As a pediatric dentist, you understand the reality of dental anxiety in kids. It can make accessing dental treatment a huge battle. But as a pediatric specialist, you know how to create an environment that helps children overcome their fears.
By continuing their orthodontic treatment in the same office, you ensure a high level of comfort for your patients. Interestingly, research into dental fear in children found that their anxiety doesn’t just stem from fear of pain or treatment. One of the main triggers was confronting unfamiliar people or environments.
You can provide orthodontic care in familiar surroundings, with a team they’re comfortable with. For a child suffering from dental fear, that could make the difference between them getting treatment and postponing it. Parents will be delighted to bring their children to the same, comfortable office as usual.
3. Information at Your Fingertips
When you add pediatric orthodontics to your practice, you already have all the information you need at your fingertips. The patient’s dental records are all on your system. Plus, you have access to their entire dental history, allowing you to give parents a full picture of the state of their child’s dental health.
By keeping everything in one place, you can prevent a disconnect from developing. The patient’s orthodontic and general dental treatment are all cared for in one place. You can ensure that all parts of their treatment are taking place, and that includes regular cleanings and other preventative treatments.
For parents, it’s much simpler to deal with one practice that has access to all of their child’s dental records.
4. Timely Orthodontic Treatment
Parents are advised to bring their children in for their first dental checkup around the age of one. From this time on, as a pediatric dentist, you can monitor the child’s dental development through regular visits. This allows you to spot orthodontic issues at a very early age. Some of the early signs may include:
- Overbite or underbite.
- Mouth breathing.
- Losing primary teeth too early or late.
The thought of taking their child to a specialist pediatric orthodontic office might not even cross a parent’s mind. But orthodontist organizations, such as the American Association of Orthodontics, recommend that every child have an orthodontic evaluation by age seven. If you are able to spot these issues early and offer to treat them, you provide a higher quality service to your patients.
Early pediatric orthodontics intervention can prevent problems later on. By creating extra space when the child is younger and the palate is still growing, it can reduce the risk of overcrowding in the teenage years. It can save the child the embarrassment of protruding teeth and shorten the time needed for phase 2 orthodontics.
5. Keep on Top of Oral Hygiene
The gold standard treatment in American orthodontics is braces. And braces can be a challenge to keep clean for adults. Children and parents may find it difficult to keep on top of teeth cleaning, which, if left unchecked, can lead to further complications.
During treatment with braces, your young patients will normally visit the office every six to eight weeks for adjustments. This provides you with a perfect opportunity to assess their oral hygiene and perform any needed cleaning.
6. You’re Already a Specialist
As a pediatric dentist, you bring a unique set of skills to the table.
Your years of additional training and experience really count. You have an in-depth understanding of the development of children’s mouths, and you see and treat all kinds of conditions every day. Plus, you know how to create an environment that children actually want to be in.
Other orthodontic practices simply can’t offer that level of expertise with children. This gives you an advantage. You already have a client list of patients and parents who trust you and know that you’re great with kids. By adding pediatric orthodontics, you make it easier for your patients to access the treatment they need.
7. Save Money for Patients
Keeping general dental and orthodontic treatments under one roof is likely to save money for your patients in the long run.
Firstly, children are more likely to benefit from early interventions. These treatments may rule out the need for orthodontics in phase 2. Also, by keeping up with oral hygiene and preventative treatments, you can help parents save on the cost of fillings and other treatments.
Parents will also love the fact that early orthodontic interventions save their child a lot of suffering. It can be extremely embarrassing and anxiety-inducing to have speech difficulties. Crooked or protruding teeth can also damage a child’s self-esteem. Early interventions, which take place when children are naturally less self-conscious, can save a lot of trauma later on.
Time to add pediatric orthodontics to your practice!
Adding pediatric orthodontics is a great way to provide your patients with a more comprehensive service. They’ll love the convenience and comfort of going to a familiar place. Plus, you can help to monitor their general oral health at the same time and reduce the risk of complications. Extend your technical and clinical knowledge with courses from the American Orthodontic Society. Check out our course catalog today!
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.