In addition to our March 2015 blog, which explains the diagnostic merits of the panoramic x-ray, we have added another great benefit to having your child receive a panoramic x-ray by the age of 8. It is important for the orthodontist to have the panoramic x-ray in order to ensure normal development of the roots of a child’s permanent back teeth – all of which are forming by age 8.
Abnormal patterns of root development can cause teeth to become impacted. An impacted tooth remains stuck in gum tissue or bone and does not emerge normally. We believe that most impactions can be prevented if we have the panoramic x-ray by age 8 and are able to identify these abnormal patterns of root development. Canines (AKA “eye” or “fang” teeth) in particular are prone to impaction, but tend to respond very well when their emergence space is enhanced at an early stage. We use a combination of short term braces (about 12 months) in addition to strategic primary tooth removals
In the above x-rays notice the overlapping or crisscrossed positions of the circled teeth. Strategic removal of the upper primary molars along with short term braces allowed the teeth to normalize the emergence pattern in order to make room for the permanent canine teeth. In essence, our early diagnosis and simple treatment enabled the body to “heal itself” and canine impactions were totally avoided.