What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The first phase serves to establish proper spacing, arch development and some skeletal corrections that are achieved more easily and predictably at a younger age. This early phase oftern reduces and/or shortens the second phase of treatment and oftentimes avoids more aggressive treatment in adolescence. The second phase often is the final completion of esthetics, coordination of the arches and detailing of the bite.
The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your child's life.
What if treatment is put off?
Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your child's smile. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.
A Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles
The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Also, if children around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
- Planning now can save your child's smile later
Children benefit tremendously from early-phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.
- Making records to determine your child's unique treatment
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During your child's initial consultation, the doctor will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are monitored as they erupt. Retaining devices will be recommended while we wait for complete eruption or the remaining permanent teeth. Unless severely crowded, the first phase of treatment will have created the space needed for the permanent teeth.
- Monitoring the teeth's progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this supervision phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a 3-6 month basis.
Stay healthy and look attractive
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces or comprehensive Invisalign treatment.
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan was established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaw. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 15-24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.