A Long Term Outcome
Maintaining educational, physical and peer group activity should be a core consideration when treating children. They need to experience stimulation to suit their age, for physical and psychological health.
Developmental phases are not constant, infancy to starting school, or adolescence to adulthood are different in nature. Paediatric maxillofacial consultants need to understand the difference and the impact of treatment over time.
Where the support they are offering is for a point in time, they require a vision of the future. For cases which will need intervention at varying stages, long term planning is equally important.
Childhood health is vital, to ensure good development but outcome for life should be the lead factor. Not least when maxillofacial care treats our facial region, which is a key part of personal development.
A Reflection Of Ourselves
Our minds and the person we become are the real reflection of us, rather than physical features. Even so, we tend to be influenced by our physical development and the way others perceive us.
Considering this within paediatric care choices is natural. Orthodontics is an example, where treatment may not be for medical reasons, when we are looking at wider maxillofacial treatment, the same applies.
A maxillofacial clinic deals with trauma, disease, jaw disorders in children, dental anomalies. They must consider the psychological wellbeing and development of young patients, alongside medical treatment.
Jaw fractures are not uncommon in older children, although their jaw varies anatomically from adults. They heal at a different rate, sometimes imperfectly, which can affect their developing dental structure.
That aspect can require care without other causes. Many of us experience imperfect tooth growth during childhood, such as missing, malformed, or supernumerary teeth.
Nasal damage, or incorrect growth is another area maxillofacial surgeons often deal with. A complex area of varying tissue which must be carefully addressed, a less than clear airway causes harm.
Breathing defects can cause immediate issues, such as increased intracranial pressure. Airway obstruction can bring sleep problems and is linked to reduced cognitive development in children.
The link between medical care and ongoing development is an unbreakable relationship, which must be factored into treatment.
Planning The Future
In depth diagnosis is a great start, based on scientific understanding, modern imaging and experience of childhood facial conditions.
The ability to draw on the skills of a multi disciplinary team can assist. Having consultants with different specialties and skilled orthodontists in house has helped our London clinic to support patients.
A dedicated consultant is essential for individual treatment planning. From allowing for details such as future tooth eruption, to mapping a decade of development to come.
Treatment decisions for children are different, surgery you might offer to adults would not suit younger patients. Aggressive surgical intervention may be correct in a sense but could cause deformity in later years.
The primary need to plan for the long term, physically and psychologically calls for greater foresight. Good childhood care is about 60, or 70 years to come, rather than just fixing a problem.
If you have any questions about paediatric maxillofacial care and childhood development, by all means contact our team, who will be happy to help.