What Do Interceptive and Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatments Entail?

Early / Interceptive/ Phase I Treatment

  • First consult around age 7 (front permanent teeth erupting)

Seeks to correct:

  •     Anterior crossbite/underbite (“Bulldog”)
  •     Posterior crossbite, especially with asymmetry
  •     Habits (thumb sucking, tongue thrust swallow)
  •     Impacted front teeth
  •     Severe crowding overlapping of permanent teeth
  •     Flared/spaced front teeth (risk f trauma without treatment)

Why early treatment

  •     Underbites respond better when treated before age 10
  •     Posterior crossbites can lead to (asymmetry and restrict airway)
  •     Habits are harder to break the longer they continue
  •     Decrease the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  •     Increased self-esteem

Risks of early treatment

  •     Damage to the teeth with poor oral hygiene
  •     Possibility of future treatment once remaining teeth erupt

Types of early treatment

  •     Expanders (with facemask if underbite present)
  •     Habit-breaking appliances)
  •     Braces (usually limited to permanent teeth)
  •     Clear aligners (excellent for severe spacing or crowding)
  •     Retainers with quarterly eruption checks upon completion

Limited / Esthetic Treatment

  •     Addresses mild concerns, (orthodontic relapse, anterior concerns)
  •     May involve compromised treatment/bite
  •     Treatment time is approximately 6-12 months
  •     Can be done with braces (metal and/or ceramic/clear.
  •     Retainers will be fabricated to maintain alignment

Comprehensive / Phase II Treatment

  •     Can begin upon eruption of all or most of the permanent teeth
  •     Ages 10 to 99
  •     Younger patients more tolerant of treatment than older ones
  •     Severe overbites are best treated in adolescence (11 – 14 yes.)
  •     Can utilize growth to help the bite
  •     Goal is to improve esthetics and function
  •     Severe cases may require jaw surgery
  •     Can be done with braces (metal end /or ceramic/clear) or clear aligners

Advantages of Braces

  • Familiarity with braces
  • Less patient responsibility
  • Can treat all cases

Disadvantages of Braces

  • Potential Breakage/Pokey wire
  • Hygiene difficulties
  • Food Restrictions

Advantages of Aligners

  • Esthetics/Hygiene
  • Less Frequent Appointments
  • Comfort   
  • Less Restrictive Diet

Disadvantages of Aligners

  • 100% Patient Compliance
  • Can’t’ be used for impaction
  • Limitations with difficulty
  • Retainers will be fabricated to maintain alignment


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