Turner Lim Orthodontists provide a broad range of orthodontic care. This post details the recent treatment of eight-year-old Luca De Biasio.
Luca visited Turner Lim with his mum, Eloise, after his school dental nurse noticed his six-year-old molars (the first adult molars a child develops at about six years of age) were growing off course.
Dr. Fiona Turner: “Luca’s six-year-old molars should have been growing behind his baby molars; instead, they were growing directly beneath. If left untreated, they would have eventually caused his baby molars to fall out prematurely. Because Luca’s six-year-old molars were too far forward, there would also be no room for his adult pre-molars to grow into his mouth.”
To fix the problem, Dr. Turner says that Luca’s six-year-old molars needed to be pushed towards the rear of his mouth. To do this, she used a Halterman Appliance.
“With this appliance, ‘little wings’ are attached to the baby molar. Then an extension arm, much like a fishing rod, is attached to a little button on the six-year-old molar. This provides the necessary pressure to push the six-year-old molar back,” she says.
A picture showing how a Halterman Appliance is fitted
Working with kids
Dental or orthodontic treatment can be traumatic for anyone, let alone an eight-year-old boy. This is why Dr. Turner says it’s important to be open with patients. With Luca, she and her staff made a point of explaining to him what was happening as much as possible. “He needed to be comfortable with what was going on,” she says.
Luca’s mum, Eloise: “Luca is a bit of a ‘panicer’ and was quite nervous about the treatment. But they made him feel comfortable — everyone was very friendly and supportive. He was always happy to go to his appointments, even though it might hurt a bit.”
Because Luca was only eight years old, his mouth was small. So, the application of a Halterman Appliance was more complicated than if used on an adult.
Eloise: “There were two appliances fitted on his top and bottom jaw — they were quite massive.”
Eloise says that the appliance caused swelling to Luca’s cheek, so it needed to be adjusted several times.
“Turner Lim was very responsive. Whenever I phoned to make appointment, they were available straight away,” says Eloise. “Despite the extra appointments, the lump sum I paid at the beginning didn’t change.”
Dr. Turner says that Luca’s treatment took about four months and his six-year-old molars are now in the correct position.
“Luca’s baby molars will now stay in his mouth for the appropriate amount of time, which is 11 to 12 years, and his adult teeth will develop normally,” says Dr. Turner.
Eloise: The clinic is modern and well designed — it’s a cheerful and happy place. Despite some discomfort, Luca was always happy to go to his appointments and was confident the treatment would work — and it did.