Early/Interceptive/Phase I

Goals of Phase I Treatment may be:

  • REDUCE the need for removal of permanent teeth
  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner
  • Decrease the risk of trauma to protruding upper front teeth
  • Correct/eliminate harmful oral habits
  • Improve esthetics and self-esteem
  • Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics
  • Reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
  • Improve some speech problems
  • Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth

While Dr. Campbell can improve smiles at any age, there is usually a best age to begin treatment so we can achieve maximum improvement with a minimum amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child's first visit to an orthodontist take place when an orthodontic problem is first detected. In all cases, the AAO recommends that every child visit an orthodontist by age 7. Visit our Common Problems/Malocclusions Page for more information on early treatment.

Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough, or is too wide or too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over age six have these jaw discrepancies, they are candidates for a first phase of orthodontic treatment.

Since children are growing rapidly, they can benefit enormously from early orthodontic treatment because specific appliances can be prescribed that direct the growth of their upper and lower jaws toward an ideal relationship. Thus, a good foundation can be established providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. Although interceptive orthodontic treatment is not always indicated, careful observation can establish the best timing for orthodontic care. Timely intervention can gently guide growth and development and prevent more serious problems from occurring. For example, careful removal of selected primary (baby) teeth, or Serial Extraction, can temporarily borrow space for successful eruption of adult teeth. When interceptive treatment is not needed, Dr. Campbell can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment at the best time. Either way, a timely screening will give you peace of mind and that gives us all something to smile about.