You may have heard of different “phases” of treatment in orthodontics when it comes to treating children. As children grow, orthodontists have the ability to harness that growth potential to correct problems with tooth position and the fit of the bite. There are various opinions in the orthodontic community as to whether one phase of treatment at age 7-10 will help reduce treatment time when comprehensive orthodontic treatment is pursued after all the baby teeth have been lost.
Scientific studies (including one major study performed at the University of Florida) have shown that for most cases, one single phase of treatment in adolescence is just as effective as splitting treatment into two phases. This way, the overall cost of orthodontic treatment is reduced and our patients are in treatment for less overall time.
In our office, we find that only 10-15% of children who we see at an early age actually need any kind of early/interceptive treatment. These are children who may have a tooth that is in a traumatic position, upper teeth at risk of trauma, or a severely restricted growth pattern that requires intervention. We are confident in our conservative approach, and we feel that we can benefit our patients and their families in reducing treatment time and cost by treating most cases in just one phase.