Phase I, or early interceptive, orthodontics is typically done on children between the ages of 7-10 to address a significant lack of space for the eruption of the permanent teeth. This is usually accomplished by the expansion of the upper and lower jaws to create space and prevent eruption issues from becoming more severe.
In the past this has typically been done with fixed appliances and braces. With advances in removable clear aligner therapy, we can now achieve this with a more comfortable and hygienic option. (In more severe cases, a fixed palate expander appliance may be used for the first few months before transitioning into clear aligners)
Removable clear aligners are worn day and night (20/24 hours is recommended) and are changed weekly. The initial expansion phase typically lasts around 1 year. Your child then enters into a retention phase where aligners are worn only at night. Once all or most of the adult teeth have erupted we then enter back into an active phase of aligner treatment to finish the case. On Average the 2nd phase of active aligner therapy lasts 18 months.
The advantages of the multi-phase Invisalign treatment include: better hygiene, greater comfort, less dietary restrictions, few if any emergency appointments, and the cost is actually cheaper than typical Phase I and Phase II braces if done separately.
There is no charge for any lost aligners during any phase of treatment. If we find that your child is not wearing his aligners during the 1 st phase of treatment we will switch them to braces at no charge.