Early or Phase 1 Treatment
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is orthodontic treatment (i.e. expansion, active retainer or partial braces) that is done before all of the permanent teeth have erupted, and often occurs between the ages of six and ten.
Phase I treatment is recommended when there is a moderate or severe orthodontic problem that should not wait until later to be treated. We do not recommend Phase I treatment unless we can make a significant difference, we will wait until treatment is efficient and be delivered economically.
We aim to do the best care, at the best time, for the best value.
The goal of Phase I Treatment is to develop the child’s jaws to make room for the future eruption of permanent teeth and to improve the relationship of the upper and lower jaws. An upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can benefit from this early orthodontic treatment. This early correction can often prevent dental trauma, later removal of permanent teeth or even jaw surgery. Leaving a severe condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a problem too severe to correct with braces alone. The treatment time for Phase I treatment is usually between 9-18 months. After this, our patients wear retainers and are checked every four to six months while waiting for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt.
Later, when most of the permanent teeth have erupted (usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen), Phase II treatment will be recommended.
The goal of Phase II Treatment is to position all the permanent teeth to maximize their appearance and function. This is best accomplished with full braces or Invisalign and is usually between 12-18 months long. Due to the improvements made in Phase I Treatment, Phase II Treatment is much quicker and easier, and often eliminates the extraction of permanent teeth. This is especially important for patients as they enter their teenage years!