Early (Phase 1) Orthodontic Appliance Treatment
Ideal for Ages 5-12
Dr. Cory Nguyen takes the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists seriously. Children should be screened no later than seven years of age in order to take advantage of the optimal developmental time window. The best time for Phase 1 treatment occurs around the time the child begins to lose their baby teeth.
Traditionally, braces were not implemented until a child’s permanent teeth erupted. While it is true that a dental professional can see the exact issues during the teen years, it often becomes necessary to extract one or more teeth because a child’s jaw is more than 90% grown at that point and is not as malleable. Being screened by the age of 7 for early orthodontic treatment permits the dental provider to catch, and more importantly, amend problems with jaw growth and tooth development.
Goals of Phase 1
Phase 1 orthodontic appliance treatment is worth its weight in gold at Beyond Dental in Dallas, TX. As in, it is worth it to make room in the child’s mouth during the time when jaw growth is more easily addressed. The expression, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true in early phase orthodontics. The main goals of this 6-12 month course of orthodontic treatment with Dr. Nguyen are to help guide permanent teeth into proper alignment and to create space for successful eruption of those permanent teeth. Early treatment basically alters jaw bone development to clear a path for teeth that would otherwise erupt behind or in front of other teeth, or worse, become impacted.
Treatment is done through the use of a variety of appliances. There are no one-size-fits all type of plans, so Dr. Nguyen will look at growth patterns to determine a course of action. Space maintainers are appliances often used in cases of early tooth loss. Palatal expanders are used to widen the palate which creates more room in the jaw. Headgear may be necessary in certain cases. More common though, is use of a short phase of braces and then retainers to guide and hold teeth in place.
What is Next?
Early orthodontic appliance treatment does not eliminate the need for braces. What it actually does, is prevent the need for drastic interventions later in life. It essentially makes the use of braces more effective for long term success. Once the initial 6-12 month orthodontic treatment is complete, there is a resting period before phase 2 begins. Dr. Nguyen will look at the individual development of the child to determine when the next phase will begin. He is the Dallas dentist to see to ensure the least invasive, most practical form of orthodontic intervention is implemented.