January 16, 2013 • Uncategorized • Comments Off
ST. PAUL, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – We see numerous patients from St. Paul, Minneapolis and other neighboring areas here at our Lakeville and Prior Lake practice each year who are ideal candidates for Phase I orthodontic treatment. A question most parents ask is whether undergoing Phase I treatment now will eliminate the need for braces for teeth down the road.
While the answer isn’t a solid “yes” or “no,” here’s some information on various circumstances that would determine whether additional orthodontic treatment would be needed down the road.
First, an explanation of Phase I treatment. Also called “interceptive” orthodontics treatment, Phase I treatment begins while a child is still young- typically between ages 6 and 10- and her growth process isn’t yet complete, says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Prior Lake and Minneapolis orthodontist and Invisalign Teen provider. It corrects dental developmental issues or prevents current dental or jaw development problems from becoming more serious.
This treatment phase may include partial braces in St. Paul, devices that resemble a retainer, or other orthodontic appliances.
“Phase I treatment often enables us to use your child’s growth to our advantage,” says Dr. Bonvino, St. Paul orthodontics pro. “We can make certain adjustments when the jaw is still growing that lessen future treatment time in some cases, and eliminate the need for additional treatment in others.”
A variety of problems with tooth alignment, crowding and spacing, gum health, jaws and facial development can be addressed via Phase I treatment. This includes crossbites, underbites, deep bites and jaw growth issues.
In some cases, failure to undergo Phase I treatment can result in the need for tooth extractions or orthognathic (jaw) surgery in the future.
“There are incredible things that can be accomplished when problems are identified and addressed early enough,” Dr. Bonvino says.
For example, the palate can be widened to make room for the adult teeth, and jaw growth can be controlled to correct underbite.
While Phase I treatment can correct a wide array of discrepancies, it doesn’t properly address every bite and alignment issue.
That is why Phase II treatment could be needed. In cases where adult teeth are impacted or located in positions that will prevent them from erupting properly, Phase II treatment comes to the rescue. In those cases, we often put our Phase I patients on a monitoring track until the adult teeth are ready to be guided into their permanent positions.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Some adult teeth have erupted by this age and the bite is established. That makes it possible for us to identify whether problems exist that should be addressed. Frequently, no treatment is needed at this young age, Dr. Bonvino says. But in those isolated cases where it is beneficial, it’s good to have problems identified and addressed as early as possible.
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