Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early Orthodontic Treatment“Does my child need braces?”  This is a common question amongst parents of pediatric dentist patients and is carefully and confidently answered by Dr. Galligan during your child’s progression of pediatric care at Galligan Family Dentistry.  As a dentist that cares for pediatric patients, as early as age 1, Dr. Galligan is able to monitor and provide early orthodontic treatment advise far earlier and more efficiently than care managed by multiple dentist and orthodontist offices.

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as ‘Interceptive’ or ‘Phase I’ treatment is recommended when pre-teen pediatric patients have orthodontic conditions or growth patterns that can be intercepted to prevent a worsening problem or improve the  ultimate orthodontic outcome.   Typical early treatment is implemented between the ages of 7 and 12, as the early permanent teeth are erupting and before the early stages of pubertal growth spurt.  Treatment is focused on a specific developmental orthodontic problem, treatment time is often limited to six to twelve months of active care, and a special appliance such as a bite expander or removable appliance may be implemented during this phase of treatment.  Early treatment may offset or reduce the need for later teen braces but ‘phase II’ comprehensive treatment is usually still required to arrange the bite and align a child’s smile, preferably during the early growth spurt stage of development and once all permanent teeth have erupted.

Types of Early Treatment

  • Narrow back teeth and upper jaw expansion
  • Front teeth crossbite & teeth damage risk correction
  • Under bite upper jaw extension
  • Excessive overbite and associated trauma risk reduction
  • Severely crowded teeth space maintenance
  • Congenitally missing or early tooth loss space maintenance
  • Thumb/finger habit intervention
  • Gummy smile reduction
  • Impacting teeth intervention