What is Phase 1 orthodontic treatment?
It is the first phase of a two-phase or multiphase orthodontic treatment process to improve function and the appearance of your child’s teeth. Phase I treatment incorporates principles of both dentofacial orthopedics (altering habits, muscle, and bony relationships) and orthodontics (movement of teeth).
Not all 4-10 year old children with tooth malpositions require a two phase treatment approach. Your orthodontist will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a multiphase treatment program for your child. Common Phase I case types are shown below.
- Younger patients usually adapt more easily to orthopedic appliance requirements and tissue response is better.
- Early improvement of the oral environment enhances self-esteem.
- Early intervention improves long-term stability.
- Patient will spend less time in full braces (Phase II treatment) during their teenage years.
“Before and after “ photos below are patients who were treated by Drs. Musich and Busch.
Open bite and contributing habits
- Finger or thumb habits, “Bite” habits, mouth breathing habits, tongue habits, can all have a negative impact on dentofacial development.
Small lower jaw with upper protrusion
Referred to as Class II problems by dental professionals.
- Phase I treatment reduces severity of the skeletal problem, improves chewing function and enhances facial appearance and self-esteem.
- Moving the teeth to their proper position can also prevent “sport trauma” to front teeth and subsequent dental injuries.
Upper jaw deficiency with crossbite
Referred to as Class III problems by dental professionals.
- These growth problems should be treated early to minimize trauma, avoid damage to the teeth that are out of place, and to improve facial balance.
Jaw constriction problems
- When the upper jaw is too narrow, the molars and “eye” teeth can grow into a reduced perimeter resulting in crowding of the teeth.
- This problem is best corrected before the upper jaw growth is complete.
There are several other types of orthodontic problems that benefit from Phase I intervention. After examining your child, your orthodontist can advise you about the appropriateness of Phase I treatment for your child.