WHAT IS TWO-PHASE ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
(Early or Interceptive) two-phase treatment is the initiation of orthodontic treatment prior to the eruption of all of the permanent teeth.
The early treatment approach is designed to intercept or prevent a developing bite problem that if left untreated, would ultimately result in the child having a more difficult problem or a compromised result in the future.
Treatment may involve a palate expander, retainer, braces or other appliance designed to create room erupting teeth, prevent tooth extraction, correct an overbite, cross bite or other tooth or jaw alignment problem.
Most children do not need 2-phase treatment, but when indicated interceptive treatment is effective and the results are impressive.
WHEN DOES DR DIGIOVANNI PRESCRIBE EARLY TREATMENT?
Although most children do not require 2 phase treatment, below is a list and examples of patients treated in our office that benefitted from early orthodontic treatment. Please note that there is correction of the teeth (dental) and the profile (skeletal) in many cases:
- Cross bite of the front teeth (anterior cross bite). CASE 1
- Cross bite of the back teeth (posterior cross bite). CASE 2
- To harmonize the width of narrow dental arches and establish an esthetic full smile (maxillary constriction) CASE 3
- Protruding front teeth in danger of being hit, broken or traumatized (flared maxillary incisors). CASE 4
- Inadequate growth and development of the midface or upper jaw (midface hypoplasia). CASE 5
- Retrusive lower jaw (receding mandible). CASE 6
- Preserving, creating or regaining space for crowded, erupting teeth in order to prevent tooth extraction and reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth. CASE 7
- Tipping of teeth that prevents the normal eruption of adult teeth. CASE 8
- A six-year molar which cannot erupt because it is caught underneath a baby tooth (ectopic eruption of the first permanent molar). CASE 9
- An adult tooth which is erupting in the wrong direction (ectopic)
- A front tooth having a very receeded gum line due to its unfavorable position in the arch (gingival recession secondary to protrusion). CASE 10
- Decrease a “gummy” smile. CASE 11
- Correct/eliminate oral habits such as thumb sucking. CASE 12
- Improve some speech problems (typically “s” or “th” sounds). CASE 13
- Inability to close the lips (lip incompetence). CASE 14
- Preserving space for a prematurely extracted baby tooth. CASE 15
- Last but not least, the increase in self esteem that occurs as a result of the improvement of the child’s smile over these formative years has been documented and is important to the child’s self esteem. CASE 16
IF WE WAIT, WILL MY CHILD'S TEETH GET BETTER OVER TIME?
No. If your child has a bite problem that requires interceptive treatment, do not expect it to improve with time. Often what occurs is just the opposite – over time many orthodontic problems get worse. For example, a palate expander in about one month’s time can create space for an 8-year-old child with crowded teeth. However, if left untreated, the crowded teeth can encroach upon the other teeth and push them out of alignment. This could result in tooth impaction, tooth extraction or another more severe dental problem.
FRIENDLY OFFICE, DOCTORS AND STAFF
Our office, staff and doctors pride ourselves at being great with children. Dr. DiGiovanni has a very gentle “chair-side” manner and enjoy treating young patients. They have designed an upbeat, fun and interactive office with kids in mind and have hand-picked a specialized staff that love to treat children as well.
In our office, you will find fun contests, games, prizes, video games, TVs to watch your chair, and even refreshments to enjoy during your visit. Our entire staff focuses on making each patient’s experience in our office a positive one -which includes making sure they feel at ease at each appointment.