PDF: Management of the Developing Dentition and Occlusion in Pediatric Dentistry


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the importance of managing the developing dentition and occlusion and its effect on the well-being of infants, children, and adolescents. 



Management includes the recognition, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment of dentofacial abnormalities. This guideline is intended to set forth objectives for management of the developing dentition and occlusion in pediatric dentistry.


Guidance of eruption and development of the primary, mixed, and permanent dentitions is an integral component of comprehensive oral health care for all pediatric dental patients.

Such guidance should contribute to the development of a permanent dentition that is in a stable, functional, and esthetically acceptable occlusion and normal subsequent dentofacial development. Early diagnosis and successful treatment of developing malocclusions can have both short-term and longterm benefits while achieving the goals of occlusal harmony and function and dentofacial esthetics. 

Dentists have the responsibility to recognize, diagnose, and manage or refer abnormalities in the developing dentition as dictated by the complexity of the problem and the individual clinician’s training, knowledge, and experience.