According to the American Association of Orthodontists®, your child should have an orthodontic screening by the age of seven. If you bring your child in to Renick Orthodontics for their screening, our orthodontist, Dr. Michele Renick, will be able to detect and address potential problems early on. While this may not completely eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment later, it may mean that less treatment is needed when your child is older. Early treatment can begin before the permanent teeth have fully erupted, and through various types of appliances, we can guide that eruption or address other issues such as crowding, maintaining space for teeth that have not erupted, ensure the symmetry of your child’s face as they grow, and potentially avoid tooth extraction. Our goal is to reduce the problems that need to be addressed in a comprehensive phase of treatment later, thus shortening treatment time during the second phase.
Your child’s dental age is not necessarily the same as their chronological age. Some problems are best addressed then they are younger, while other problems may need to wait. In many cases, only one comprehensive phase of orthodontic treatment is necessary, however, in some cases, Dr. Renick may suggest the Two-Phase approach:
This phase is meant to develop the dental arches and begin to address some of the more severe growth issues. Development of the arch with early treatment will help create space to aid in the eruption of your child’s adult teeth. Once the early goals have been achieved, there will be a resting period where your child will be given a retainer to maintain our phase I results. They will be followed during this period to assess the need for phase II treatment.
After your child’s teeth have developed further, Dr. Renick will examine your child’s bite to assess the way the remaining permanent teeth have erupted. Additional growth of the jaws will also be examined to see if further intervention with growth modification is needed. At the reevaluation exam, a second plan may be suggested for comprehensive treatment.
The Two-Phase treatment process does take a little longer because there are two separate stages of treatment. Bear in mind that there is a break in between phases for the patient. While the Two-Phase approach is not needed for all patients, it is recommended in cases where Dr. Renick feels it can be the easiest and most effective way to ensure that your child’s smile looks and functions as it should, and to avoid expensive, time-consuming treatments later.
Comprehensive Treatment vs. Two-Phase Treatment Approach
Again, not every patient will require early intervention. Our orthodontist, Dr. Renick, is very goal oriented when she recommends an early phase of treatment based on the consultation exam and diagnosis. Specific problems she looks for include, but are not limited to, severe crowding, impacted cuspids, crossbites, or jaw problems like an underbite or severe overjet. Not every patient will have one of those problems. In that situation, your child will be place in a reevaluation system to come back at a later date. At the reevaluation appointment, need and timing of treatment will be determined and a comprehensive treatment plan developed.
One of the biggest benefits to treatment at a younger age is that the jaws of children and teens are still growing, making the treatment process easier. If it is time for your child’s screening, or if you would like to know more about pediatric and teen orthodontics in Sunbury, Ohio, call 740-936-5003 today to schedule an appointment.