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Phase I

When are Two Phases of Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

September 27th, 2015

Usually patients in orthodontic treatment already have their permanent teeth – they are pre-teens, teens and adults. But in some cases, it will be beneficial to the patient to begin orthodontic treatment earlier, even before the patient’s permanent teeth completely erupt. We call this “Two-Phase Treatment.”

When we have patients with clear developmental problems at an early age, it’s best to start work when they are young, before the problems get bigger and more difficult to treat.
These Examples include:

• An upper or lower jaw that is not growing correctly (over-bite/under-bite)
• A mouth growing in a way that doesn’t leave enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in (crowding)
• A severe malocclusion, or bad bite, which means the jaw doesn’t fit together correctly (cross-bite)

In these cases, we will start early and do one round of treatment – "Phase I" – while the patient still has their baby teeth. Phase I does not always involve braces, but will more than likely include a different type of appliance that help the jaw or palate grow into place. Dr. Varghese will follow up for "Phase II" every 4-6 months, until permanent teeth are in place. Generally Phase II involves the Damon System to align the teeth and correct the bite, or malocclusion.

In order to catch problems early, we recommend that children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven (and so does the American Association of Orthodontists). However, if your dentist or pediatrician see any sign that early treatment might be necessary, he or she may recommend your child visit Varghese Orthodontics even sooner.

All Consultations are complimentary, please call our office in North Aurora at 630.907.9680 or our Huntley office at 847.961.5515.

What Is A Palatal Expander And Why Use It?

February 4th, 2015

One of the most used orthodontic appliance used in young patients is the palatal expander. At first sight, this appliance may look intimidating to our young patients and the thought of having to "turn" each day frightens many parents as well.

So... What can you expect while your child has an expander in their mouth?

Arch expansion is one of the more common ways to negate crowding and crossbites in our young and growing patients. Successful widening of the upper arch requires that the midpalatal suture at the roof of the mouth is not fused together. So in this sense, we are using our young patient's growth to our advantage, as time is on our side.

The expander is attached to the upper arch by bands placed around the first permanent molars with dental cement, so this is not something that can be taken out by our patients. Although there are removable expanders, Dr. Varghese prefers a fixed expander, as the appliance will not be lost or forgotten.

While there will be some discomfort at the very beginning when an expander is initially placed, our patients report a few day adjustment period before they are more comfortable with their daily activities. During daily turning (usually 21 turns for 21 days), our young patients' may feel a small amount of pressure on the teeth, in the roof of their mouth, behind the nose and sometime between the eyes as their expander is being activated by the person turning it. We assure you that this pressure fades within minutes!

Besides the pressure, your little patient may be speaking a little differently too for the first few days. We recommend reading a book aloud while at home. One of the most visible signs the expander is working, it the space it will make between the two front teeth, so do NOT worry! This is completely normal and expected :)

Due to the possibility of relapse, which is the movement back towards the original position, Dr. Varghese will keep the expander in place for the remaining length of treatment time so the midpalatal sutures fuse together, otherwise the possibility of relapse will be pretty high.

Please call our office to meet Dr. Varghese and our team to learn more about the advantages of a Phase I treatment with palatal expanders.

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