In some cases, it is most beneficial to begin orthodontic treatment before a patient has developed a full set of permanent teeth. Interceding with orthodontic treatment at a young age in this way is known as Phase I or interceptive treatment, and makes it possible for Dr. Davis to achieve a superior result at the end of orthodontic treatment. Early treatment is only recommended if delaying treatment would prevent Dr. Davis from providing a patient with the same quality of final result.
Phase I treatment is most commonly recommended when it is necessary to correct early problems in jaw relationships or to ensure no further problems are caused by a lack of adequate space for permanent teeth to erupt. The benefits of early treatment can have a profound impact on a young patient’s life.
Phase I treatment is designed to be followed with a second phase of treatment in adolescence called comprehensive treatment. While early treatment lays a solid foundation for development, a patient’s permanent teeth usually require additional guidance to be properly aligned. In the case that comprehensive treatment is aided by interceptive procedures, the second phase of treatment is much easier and tends to take less time for completion and a beautiful smile.
Below are some common question-and-answer points for early treatment.
Age seven is considered the best time for orthodontic screening.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age seven. By this age the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time Dr. Davis can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or crossbite. Timely screening ensures that orthodontic treatment is initiated at the most beneficial time.
The benefits of early orthodontic evaluation:
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, Dr. Davis can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Advantages of interceptive treatment:
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are: creating room for crowded, erupting teeth, creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth, reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth, preserving space for unerupted teeth, reducing the need for tooth removal and reducing treatment time with braces.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions (bad bites) can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. To see more examples of different kinds of bites and how they are transformed, visit our before and after page.
Ultimately, orthodontics produces much more than just a beautiful smile – it creates a healthier and more confident individual!