When to Start Treatment

Though an orthodontist can treat a patient successfully at any age, there is a perfect time to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at the proper time ensures the best result and least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen at the age of seven. At this age, treatment may not be necessary but early examination can determine the optimal time to begin treatment.                 

The benefit of early treatment is to guide growth and disrupt any problems that may lead to serious issues . The goal of this Phase 1 treatment (defined as treatment prior to the eruption of all permanent teeth) is to develop the jaw and tooth alignment in order to accommodate the permanent teeth. Excessive overbite or protruding front teeth, open bite, crowding, gummy smiles and crossbites can result in facial asymmetries. There are other growth problems that if left untreated may require corrective surgery at a later date.     

If phase 1 treatment is recommended, Dr. Wright will review the diagnostic records and give a treatment plan that includes the type of appliances, approximate length of treatment time and cost. Although two phases of treatment are not always necessary, phase 1 treatment may minimize the time in the second phase when the permanent teeth have erupted. In some cases it may eliminate the need for the second phase all together. The second phase of treatment begins when all of the permanent teeth are fully erupted.  Our goal is to establish an exact location where the teeth are contacting precisely with each other, give a beautiful smile, and are in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue and also allow the jaw joint to be seated in the proper position. Only a properly trained orthodontist can determine the best treatment requirements for you and your children. 

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