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Phase I Orthodontics
Why is this procedure called “phase 1”?
Phase 1 orthodontic treatments are used to address alignment issues at an early stage. Anomalies in bone, tooth and jaw growth can be detected from the age of 6. By making an orthodontic correction at an early age, we can prevent tooth and alignment issues in adolescence.
Interceptive orthodontics do not always prevent the need for treatment down the road. However, treatment in these cases will be simpler and less expensive.
What do phase 1 treatments involve?
Treatment may involve using orthopedic appliances to modify the bone structure since mouth shape must be addressed before the teeth can be aligned. For example, palatal expansion is a phase 1 treatment that involves using an expander to enlarge the upper dental arch. This can prevent future tooth overlap.
When assessing dentofacial development, we look at the following variables:
- Does the child suck their thumb or fingers?
- Does their tongue push against the teeth?
- What is the child’s breathing style?
Based on our observations, we may recommend certain changes in habit or refer you to a speech-language pathologist or an ENT before beginning treatment.
Most treatments involve using removable appliances and treatments typically last just a few months.