Buck Teeth: Correct Them Once In Early Adolescence

Release Date: December 17, 2013 | By Valerie DeBenedette, HBNS Contributing Writer
Research Source: The Cochrane Library

KEY POINTS

  • A review finds few benefits to a two-stage orthodontic correction for buck teeth in children versus treatment done in one-stage during early adolescence.
  • A two stage correction requires treatment over a longer period of time, which typically increases the cost.
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Children with prominent front teeth, colloquially known as buck teeth, often require orthodontic work to straighten their teeth and improve both their bite and appearance. This can be done in one stage during early adolescence (age 10 to 16) or two stages with the first stage between age 7 and 11 and the second in early adolescence. A new Cochrane review finds few benefits to the two-stage correction.

Upper front teeth that stick out are more likely to be broken or knocked out in an accident. In addition, their appearance can lead to a child being made fun of or being bullied. But orthodontists, parents, and children are faced with deciding whether to treat in two stages, early and late, or in just one later stage. 

The research team analyzed data from 17 randomized controlled trials of children treated for Class II malocclusion, which is one cause of prominent front teeth. The trials included 721 children. 

They concluded that providing treatment early slightly reduced the risk of a child damaging their front teeth if they had an accident while playing or participating in sports, but offered few other benefits. "There was no other benefit for having treatment early, age 8, as opposed to having treatment during adolescent age," according to Kevin O'Brien, professor of orthodontics at the University of Manchester in England. 

"The results of this review will provide information to allow the orthodontist to explain fully the potential risks of not having treatment when the child is 8 years old," O'Brien stated. This can help orthodontists, parents and their children make an informed decision, he said.

The study also looked at evaluations of several types of orthodontic braces and appliances, including fixed and removable devices and head-braces. One type, the Twin-Block, was shown to be more effective in reducing the protrusion of the upper front teeth at an early age.

There is no official standard of care when it comes to treating prominent front teeth, David L. Turpin, D.D.S., Moore/Riedel Professor in the department of orthodontics at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle. "Teeth come in all types of bite and jaw relationships and children come in all shapes and sizes," he said. "Orthodontists should know all the different ramifications and should be good at treating problems in differing ways to meet the child's needs."

"In general, the earlier that treatment starts the longer it lasts, which in turn increases the cost," Turpin said. 

TERMS OF USE: This story is protected by copyright. When reproducing any material, including interview excerpts, attribution to the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, is required. While the information provided in this news story is from the latest peer-reviewed research, it is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment recommendations. For medical questions or concerns, please consult a health care provider.

For More Information:

Reach the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, at (202) 387-2829 or hbns-editor@cfah.org.

The Cochrane Library (http://www.thecochranelibrary.com) contains high quality health care information, including systematic reviews from The Cochrane Collaboration. These reviews bring together research on the effects of health care and are considered the gold standard for determining the relative effectiveness of different interventions. 

Thiruvenkatachari B, Harrison JE, Worthington HV, O’Brien KD: Orthodontic treatment for prominent upper front teeth (Class II malocclusion) in children (Review). 2013, Cochrane Library. Issue 11. 

 

Tags for this article:
Oral Health   Evidence-Based Medicine   Make Good Treatment Decisions   Children and Young People's Health  



Comments on this article
Please note: CFAH reserves the right to moderate all comments posted to the Health Behavior News Service. Any inappropriate postings will be removed.

Laureen Gurz says
January 16, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I wish I had my buck teeth fixed earlier in life. I hate how I look. I'm skinny, big nose and two ugly big buck teeth.

Gladys Nyoth says
March 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Have a huge over bite, an actress, which is effecting me ....
Do you have payment plans?



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