Phase I, or Interceptive Treatment, typically starts around the age of seven when a child has most of their baby teeth and some of their front teeth. Phase I treatment is mainly preventative; the goal is to intercept a moderate/severe orthodontic problem early to reduce or eliminate it. Such problems include skeletal dysplasias, crossbites, and crowding. Phase I treatment takes advantage of the child’s growth spurt and turns what would be a difficult orthodontic problem later into a more manageable one. Phase 1 aims to reduce the need for extractions or surgery and allow for more treatment options in the future, meaning better long-term results. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite. Not everyone needs Phase I treatment, Dr. Woo always informs patients if Phase I is needed during the patient’s initial exam.
Phase II treatment, or Comprehensive Treatment, usually occurs a number of years after Phase I or is the only phase of treatment for patients who do not seek orthodontics until adulthood. For children who have already undergone Phase 1, Dr. Woo waits for 12-16 more permanent teeth to erupt before beginning Phase II. Most commonly, this occurs between the ages of 12 to 14 years. The result will be the “final product” of your orthodontic treatment: a glowing smile with an ideal occlusion (bite) for healthy functionality.