Treatment Strategies

What's Phase I (Interceptive) Treatment?

This aims to minimize or avoid some severe orthodontic problems through early intervention. It typically starts between age 7 to 10, when a young patient's first few permanent teeth have grown in. Phase I Treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. It reduces the need for extractions or surgery and provides better ongoing treatment options for long-term results. Most Phase I patients also require a Phase II Treatment to achieve an ideal bite.

Who needs Phase I Treatment?

Early intervention is appropriate only for certain problems such as crossbites, crowding and skeletal defects. Other problems can wait until most or all the permanent teeth are in place.

Can my 7-9 year old delay Phase I (Interceptive)Treatment?

We don't recommend it. Phase I Treatment focuses on complex problems that require immediate attention. If you delay, treatment options become limited, the process is more difficult and long-term stability may be compromised. Delays may also lead to future extractions, oral surgery and increase of costs.

What's Phase II Treatment?

Phase II Treatment usually begins at age 12 or 13, after 20-28 permanent teeth are present. Its goal is to help Phase I patients achieve an ideal bite that will serve them well as adults.

What's Full (Comprehensive) Treatment?

This is another name for orthodontic treatment of permanent teeth. It's used when a Phase I treatment wasn't performed.

What's Extraction Therapy versus Non-Extraction Therapy?

Extraction therapy is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for the others. The contrasts with non-extraction therapy, where a patient's jaw is expanded and/or teeth are reduced in width to create sufficient room.


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