On occasion, younger patients with severe orthodontic problems might need two-phases of orthodontic treatment.
Phase I, also known as Interceptive or preventative orthodontic treatment, usually occurs when the child is still in a mixed dentition (has a mixture of adult and primary teeth). This is usually between the ages of 7 and 11.
Fixed or removable orthodontic appliances, or partial braces may be placed to prevent or correct fairly severe orthodontic problem which would be harder to treat later in life. These problems include severe crowding and tooth misalignment, cross bites, improper jawbone growth or harmony, or facial problems.
If not addressed at early age, some of these problems might require a more complicated treatment, such as jaw surgery, later in life. Phase I treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a less severe one .
An additional benefit of Phase I treatment is shorter Phase II (comprehensive orthodontic treatment with braces) later in life.
For these reasons, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child gets his first orthodontic consultation at the age of 7.
At Orthodontic Experts, we provide complimentary orthodontic consultations to kids age 6 and older. At this consultation, our orthodontist will evaluate your child’s teeth, jaws and facial harmony and will assess if Phase I treatment is needed. Most kids do not require Phase I treatment and our orthodontist will place your child on regular complimentary recall visits until he or she is ready for comprehensive orthodontic treatment be it braces, Invisalign, or other appliances.
Phase II treatment occurs a few years later after all permanent teeth have erupted (age 11-13). Phase II treatment is your typical “braces treatment”. The majority of patients will only require Phase II treatment. The goal of Phase II treatment, is to correct remaining orthodontic problems, and create a functional bite and a beautiful smile for your loved one.
What is Full or Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment?
This is another term for orthodontic treatment after all permanent teeth have erupted. Full or Comprehensive orthodontic treatment also refers to braces treatment in someone who has not Phase I treatment.
How old does my child have to be to start Phase I/ Interceptive orthodontic treatment?
Depending on the type and severity of a problem, Interceptive treatment can be started as early as 6-7 years of age. At your initial orthodontic consultation, Dr. Yarmolyuk will determine the need and the best timing for Phase I treatment.
Is there a separate fee for Phase I orthodontic treatment?
Although, there is a separate fee for Interceptive orthodontic treatment, your child will typically require shorter Phase II (braces) treatment, which will save you money in the overall treatment fee.