Perhaps the most important stage in a person’s dental development falls between the ages of five and 12. During these years, the primary teeth are lost and are replaced by adult teeth. By evaluating the teeth at an early age, the orthodontist can reasonably predict whether or not there will be enough room for the adult teeth.

Often during these developmental years, the eruption of the adult teeth can be aided by the selective removal of the primary teeth. The orthodontist can determine if this is needed, and if so, will make the appropriate recommendation to your dentist. Preliminary diagnostic records may be needed.

This procedure, called serial extraction, will not eliminate the need for eventual orthodontic treatment, but will often prevent a serious problem from getting worse, and can help the teeth and jaws to develop in a more harmonious relationship.

Once started, it is very important for the patient to be seen by an orthodontist on a regular basis in order to monitor the dental development. This, the family dentist may be informed additional teeth, which need to be removed and when definitive orthodontic therapy should begin.