The enthusiasm that Drs. Brown, Van Elslande and Team show about Early Orthodontic Treatment is evident in any discussion, and its benefits cannot be matched. Early Treatment enables coordination of the size of the teeth and jaws, as they develop. Each child’s growth potential is maximized, to improve the malocclusion and give the permanent teeth the best chance to erupt in an ideal position. Most importantly, this treatment may eliminate the need for tooth extraction or jaw surgery, and may allow Drs. Brown and Van Elslande to achieve results that may not be possible once the child has finished growing!
What are the advantages of Early Treatment?
- Increased self-esteem
- Prevention of impacted eye teeth
- Influence jaw growth to make room for the eruption of permanent teeth
- Improved speech problems and oral-habits
- May eliminate the need for extractions or surgery
There are two critical phases to treatment:
Phase 1 – Growth Phase
We usually begin treatment between the ages of 8 and 10, for those patients who have clear indications for early intervention. Braces are placed on the permanent upper front teeth and permanent first molars. Goals of Phase 1 treatment are very specific.
- Expand the jaws to make room for permanent teeth
- Improve the bite
- Align the permanent front teeth
After these goals are met, braces are removed and retainers provided. During the retention phase, progress is monitored every three months, to ensure the results of Phase 1 are maintained. The eruption of permanent teeth is monitored to determine the optimum time to complete the two phase process.
Optimum results can only be achieved if both phases of treatment are completed.
Phase 2 – Alignment Phase
This second phase begins when most of the permanent teeth have erupted. Once again the goals are very specific.
- Align all the permanent teeth
- Improve function and finalize the bite
Phase 2 Treatment involves the placement of braces on all the upper and lower permanent teeth. Treatment is usually completed in twelve to eighteen months, and then retainers are placed.