Interceptive orthodontics can be considered as any treatment in the deciduous or early mixed dentition which will prevent the establishment of a malocclusion, partially or totally (sometimes distinguished as preventive orthodontics), or treatment undertaken at the time when malocclusion has already developed to correct malocclusion or simplify later orthodontic care. Early orthodontic treatment precedes the conventional treatment protocol in which brackets and bands are placed on permanent teeth. The purpose of early treatment is to reduce the time and complexity of fixed-appliance therapy.
Orthodontic treatment is usually carried out around the time of the pubertal growth spurt and/or soon after eruption of the permanent dentition. Both spontaneous and dynamic tooth movement are accomplished more readily at this age, and active growth facilitates the correction of skeletal discrepancies.
Typically orthodontic treatment is ideally carried out shortly following the eruption of permanent teeth in adolescence when growth and intact dentition could be utilized in the correction of malocclusion. However in recent years the number of patients seeking orthodontic treatment has significantly increased. There is number of adults who have not had orthodontic treatment as children (reluctant, slipped through the net); this group often demonstrates significant malocclusion and requires comprehensive treatment. Another group of adults looking for orthodontic treatment would be patients who require complex restorative procedures to control dental disease and /or replace missing teeth. Often this group requires adjunctive orthodontic treatment to enable the restorative procedures to be effectively achieved.