Early orthodontic treatment (also known as “interceptive orthodontic treatment” or “Phase 1” treatment) is a type of orthodontic intervention for our young patients. The aim of Phase 1 treatment is to create a better environment for incoming adult teeth. Some examples are the insertion of a habit breaker for a patient with a thumb-sucking habit or the expansion of a narrow upper jaw to eliminate a lower jaw shift. If left untreated, these functional problems result in skeletal deformation of jaws, which is more difficult to correct in the teenage years.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment is treatment for patients who are in late mixed dentition (almost all adult teeth are in the mouth) or permanent dentition (no baby teeth present) stages. For misaligned teeth in patients with good facial proportions, braces or clear aligners are the go-to orthodontic appliances. If improvement of jaw misalignment is desired, then growth modification appliances such as Head Gear, functional appliances and/or expanders could be used in growing patients. To improve jaw relations for adult patients, a combination of braces and jaw surgery is recommended.
Limited orthodontic treatment is aimed to apply short term orthodontic treatment on specific teeth to improve the success of dental restorations, such as veneers, implant supported crowns or porcelain bridges.