Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What kind of dental problems need early (Phase I) orthodontic treatment?

Problems that should be addressed through Phase I orthodontic treatment between ages 8-12 to avoid serious problems later include lack of space for eruption of all permanent teeth, crossbites (when one or some upper teeth fail to cover opposing lower teeth), and facial growth imbalances that cause severe overbites and underbites.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Reducing the need for tooth removal by creating room for crowded erupting teeth and reserving space for unerupted teeth;
- Creating facial symmetry by directing jaw growth;
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth;
- Reducing the risk of premature tooth wear and chipping of the teeth; and
- Elimination of habits that create bad bites.

It is important to note that after Phase I most patients typically will have 16 new teeth that will be erupting within the next couple of years. The way these teeth erupt will play an important role in determining the need or not of a second phase of treatment (Phase II).