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What are "phases" in orthodontia?

7 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Hanley
Orthodontics 43 years experience
Two phases: There can be two phases of orthdontics. Phase i treats patients who are 8-9 years old and usually places braces on only the molars and the four incisors. This is done to correct minor problems best treated early. Phase ii begins when all the adult teeth are in, usually around 11-12. It is only called phase ii when phase i was done. Early treatment will correct some problems more efficiently.
Dr. David Schleimer
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I cannot emphasize the importance of case selection for early orthodontic intervention. In my practice and in my opinion, about 25% of patients would benefit from early treatment. It must be said that the only reason for early interception would be that the patient would benefit in a way that would reduce the invasiveness of treatment later. Perhaps it is palatal expansion that could otherwise not be done later or by judicious use or saving of leeway space negating the need for adult tooth extraction for treatment. Sometimes I treat early just to protect overly protrusive maxillary anterior teeth that are too protrusive and may be at risk for injury.
May 7, 2013
Dr. Donald Rollofson
Dentistry 45 years experience
Treatment timings: In about 25% of cases some early treatment, before all permanent teeth erupt, is helpful. This is called phase 1. Most of these patients, as well as the remaining 75% are best served by having full orthodontic therapy after all permanent either in addition to phase 1 or as the only treatment indicated.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Refers to timing: First ortho exam age 7. Sometimes phase i (preventive or interceptive) treatment can shorten or simplify phase ii (corrective) orthodontic treatment that ideally should begin just as the 3-year baby molars are falling out. Don't wait until all the permanent teeth have erupted before seeking an orthodontic consultation.
Dr. David Schleimer
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Refers to timing: It is true that 7 to 8 year old children benefit from orthodontic screening; but in my opinion a minority of children that age would significantly benefit from early treatment. The single greatest reason for first phase or early intervention is: by doing so the orthodontist can reduce the invasiveness of treatment (save tooth removals for example) or to reduce or eliminate pernicious habits.
Dr. David Schleimer
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Provided original answer
Phase I sets the context or environment for the remainder of the adult teeth to erupt into. Phase II is the definitive correction of the teeth. Phase I takes on average a year. Phase II takes on average 18 months.
Dec 26, 2012
Dr. S. jay Bowman
Orthodontics 36 years experience
Steps: Some orthodontic treatments consist of more than one stage of care often based on the age of the patient. A first "phase" of treatment may be required during the "mixed dentition" stage when there are some permanent and baby teeth. Later, a comprehensive second phase may be prescribed when all permanent teeth have erupted. Each phase may be addressing different issues.
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
Growth & development: Phase i is treatment for kids who still have most/all of their "baby" teeth. It is also called interceptive treatment. It can address some issues with bite and palate shape/size. Phase ii or comprehensive treatment is when the patient has most/all "adult" teeth. They are often used in conjunction to treat more serious cases.
Dr. William Dabney
Orthodontics 41 years experience
Braces: Phases in treatment refer to breaking down treatment over several time points. The first or early phase would begin around age 7-9 and take care of any problems that are present. It does not take care of problems that develop when all the permanent erupt. Thus there is a second phase of treatment usually required.

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Last updated Nov 10, 2015
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