Why Phase One Treatment
Early Interceptive treatment can prevent:
- The later removal of adult permanent teeth to correct overcrowding.
- Surgical procedures to expand and/or align the upper and lower jaws.
Interceptive treatment can also decrease the time necessary for the second phase of treatment. Leaving a malocclusion untreated until all of the permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to allow achievement of an ideal result with braces alone.
Orthodontic/dentofacial orthopedic records will be necessary to determine the diagnosis, treatment plan, type of appliances needed, duration of the treatment, and frequency of visits. Records usually consist of models of the teeth, dental imaging (radiographs), digital photographs, and clinical evaluation.
Goals of Phase One Treatment:
- To develop both the upper and the lower jaws sufficiently to accomodate all of the adult permanent teeth.
- To correctly relate the upper and lower jaws to each other.
Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough, or is too wide, too narrow, or crooked can be recognized at an early age. If children over 4 years of age have these jaw discrepancies, they are usually candidates for early orthodontic/dentofacial orthopedic (jaw) evaluation and treatment. Most Phase I treatment begins at approximately 7-8 when the incisors are developing. Children also tend to be most eager and cooperative at this time.
Because children are growing rapidly, they can benefit enormously from an early (interceptive) phase of orthodontic/dentofacial orthopedic treatment by taking advantage of this valuable window of opportunity in their development. Orthodontic appliances can be used to correct jaw shape and direct the growth toward an ideal relationship between the upper and lower jaws. A good foundation can be established thereby providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth.