What Happens During a Phase I Orthodontic Treatment?
In most cases, a Phase I orthodontic treatment is the first stage of a multi-step process that involves preventative or interceptive treatments, braces, and retainers. However, Salt Lake City orthodontist Dr. Justin Parker says a Phase I orthodontic treatment is not necessary for every patient.
Specifically, Dr. Parker says Phase I orthodontic treatments are best when reserved for patients who have significant structural or foundational problems in their jaws that need to be corrected. These types of structural and foundational problems could include overjets, underbites, or crossbites.
For a bit of background on these conditions, the Salt Lake City orthodontist explains that an overjet is when a patient has a weak chin. An underbite is the description most often used to describe patients with large chins. Meanwhile, a crossbite occurs when a patient’s teeth do not fit together on the top and bottom, or when the upper teeth are falling inside the lower teeth. Patients with protrusive teeth, like buck teeth, often need Phase I treatments to prevent their teeth from chipping and to avoid certain social situations where they are being teased. These are all indicating factors that Dr. Parker uses when deciding whether to recommend a Phase I orthodontic treatment.
When the Salt Lake City orthodontist starts a Phase I treatment, he uses various methods to get the patient’s foundation correct so his or her bite fits together in a correct relationship. A patient’s bite cannot continue to develop normally until this correct relationship has been achieved.
In most cases, Phase I orthodontic treatments are only recommended for children. Dr. Parker screens all of his patients at 7 years old, even though the typical Phase I treatment does not begin until age 9. In rare cases, Dr. Parker may recommend starting a patient with this first phase of treatment at an earlier age, such as in cases where the patient is suffering from a severe jawbone issue.
Phase I orthodontic treatments commonly include preventative, modifying, or interceptive appliances that the orthodontist uses to help direct jawbone growth and modify the existing growth pattern. When utilized correctly, a Phase I treatment can prevent tooth alignment issues, as well as jaw problems, facial problems, and gum health problems. Additionally, Dr. Parker says that some patients who undergo Phase I treatments are able to decrease the time they spend on the second phase (Phase II) of their orthodontic treatments.
For more information on the first phase of treatment, and to find out whether your child might benefit from this type of orthodontic therapy, the Salt Lake City orthodontist recommends contacting his office.
Salt Lake City, UT 84123
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.