Single treatment ‘better than two interventions’

Researchers have concluded that early two-stage orthodontic therapy for prominent front teeth in children does not appear to have any advantages over a single-phase treatment in early adolescence.

Having prominent front teeth is a potentially harmful problem. If it occurs at a young age (7 to 11 years old) then the orthodontist has to decide whether to treat immediately and then again when the child is older (12 to 16 years old), or wait until the child is a teenager and perform the treatment in one phase.

By analysing data from eight trials involving 592 patients, a group of Cochrane Researchers have found that the two-stage therapy that starts early does not necessarily lead to more successful results than one-phase treatment.

Lead authors Dr Jayne Harrison, a consultant orthodontist who works at Liverpool University Dental Hospital, and professor Kevin O’Brien from the University of Manchester, said: ‘Prominent upper front teeth may be due to many different combinations of jaw, tooth and lip positions.

‘Without treatment the teeth can become damaged over time, but it appears that there is no harm done in waiting for early adolescence before starting treatment.’

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