What is Phase I Orthodontic Treatment?
By Dr. Tyler Coles – Premier Orthodontics
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You may have heard of Phase I braces treatment… but are you still wondering what that means?
In this article we’ll define Phase I orthodontic treatment to help you understand which phase of braces treatment your child may need.
Phase I Orthodontic Treatment?
Phase I braces treatment is sometimes called “interceptive treatment”, meaning that it is done at a young age to try and prevent (or intercept) problems when kids are young… before they become much larger problems.
Kids in Phase I orthodontic treatment will start treatment before all their permanent teeth grow in and it may be as early as age 7.
You may be thinking, “that seems really young for braces….”
After all, you and most of the people you know probably got braces as a teenager….
Most kids, (about 90% of children) won’t need braces until they have all their permanent teeth in, which is usually closer to age 12 or 13.
But, there are about 10% of young children who have significant tooth or bite problems that should be addressed when they are young. These problems, if left untreated, will get more difficult and possibly more expensive to treat at a later age.
Some of these tooth and bite problems that should be addressed early in life include:
- Crossbites (both anterior crossbites and posterior crossbites)
- Severe crowding of the teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Thumb sucking habits
- Any time that a child may be self-conscious about their teeth and having and having self-esteem issues or bullying due to the appearance of their teeth.
The goal with Phase I orthodontic treatment is to fix the major tooth and bite problems and prevent future problems. Children at this age will usually have many baby teeth, so getting every tooth perfect and straight usually isn’t necessary at this age.
If you’re not sure if your child has any of these tooth or bite problems, the best place to start is by scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist for an evaluation. We recommend children receive their first orthodontic evaluation at age 7 to determine if Phase I orthodontic treatment is recommended.
What is Involved with Phase I Braces Treatment?
Children who receive Phase I orthodontic treatment may receive some combination braces or some type of appliance to help with bite problems.
Because each child will have a unique set of problems the treatment prescribed may be different for each one. Some of the treatment appliances recommended may include:
How Long Does Phase I Braces Treatment Take?
For most kids, Phase I orthodontic treatment will take between 6-12 months. This time will vary depending on what tooth or bite problems need to be addressed.
Phase I treatment is generally quicker than Phase II treatment.
How Much Does Phase I Braces Cost?
Prices will vary from one office to the next and may vary depending on what type of appliance is recommended. Most of the time Phase I treatment will be less than full braces treatment.
At Premier Orthodontics Phase I orthodontic treatment will generally cost between $2000 – $2500, depending on the type of treatment recommended and your insurance.
What Happens After Phase I Braces Treatment?
Once a child has completed Phase I braces treatment they will go into a retention and observation stage. Most kids will receive some type of retainer, either a removable or permanent retainer, and they will then be evaluated at the orthodontic office every 6-12 months.
During this period visits the orthodontist will evaluate the condition of the retainers and also observe the growth and development of the child to determine if and when Phase II braces will be needed.
Phase I Braces Before and After
Consultation for Phase I Braces in Phoenix, Chandler, Maricopa, and Casa Grande
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