Phase I orthodontics refers to early orthodontic interceptive measures. This treatment is recommended by dentists and orthodontists for children who are at high risk of future malocclusion. This intervention helps reduce the extent of later treatments and can sometimes eliminate the need for braces altogether.
These early interventions can include palate expanders, retainers, and partial braces. By beginning treatment at the age of seven, before all of the permanent teeth have erupted, your dentist or orthodontist can more easily manipulate the growing jaw and oral structures.
What are the Benefits of Early Intervention?
The goal of phase I interception is to augment the child's jaws to make room for the eruption of permanent teeth and to improve the dynamics between the upper and lower arches. An upper or lower jaw that is either growing too fast or too slow to accommodate emerging teeth can benefit from this phase I orthodontic treatment.
Waiting to address alignment issues until your child’s permanent teeth have grown in can result in more invasive procedures and higher out of pocket costs. The treatment time for phase I intervention is usually about a year, depending on the severity of your child’s dental condition. After this, patients are monitored closely while permanent teeth to erupt.
Some of the benefits of early orthodontics include:
- Widens dental arches to accommodate emerging teeth and improve facial esthetics
- Lessens the likelihood of future tooth extractions from tooth crowding and impaction
- Helps reduce the need for future jaw surgery by manipulating the softer growing structures early
- Lowers the risk of tooth chipping and breaking, as – misaligned and protruding teeth are more vulnerable to trauma
- Corrects harmful oral habits and promotes healthier ones. Helping a child get used to dental procedures increases compliance in the teenage years and establishes dental health as a priority
- Improves esthetics and promotes confidence for adolescent patients
- Helps guide permanent teeth into better position to avoid future braces treatment and other more invasive interventions later in life
When most of the permanent teeth have erupted (usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen), phase II treatment will be recommended if still necessary.
If you suspect your child could benefit from phase I orthodontic treatment and are in the Sacramento area, call Sacramento Dental Medicine in Antelope today.