Phase 1 Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment, usually occurs when the patient is a child and still has his or her primary teeth. The Phase 1 treatment plan can include preventive, interceptive or modifying treatment. Orthodontic appliances may be placed to prevent a problem from occurring, correct a current problem or help direct jawbone growth. Multiple problems with tooth alignment, gums, jaws and facial problems can be corrected with Phase 1 treatment.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.
Benefits of interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
Depending on severity, treatment may consist of one or a combination of the following appliances:
- Rapid Palatal Expander
- Tongue Crib
- Upper Braces
- Space Maintainer
The ultimate goal of Phase 1 is to guide the growth and development of a child’s face and jaw. Although it may not eliminate the need for further orthodontic treatment, having Phase 1 can significantly reduce the severity level and time needed for treatment in the future.