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 purpose of two-phase treatment is to start treatment early enough to correct or minimize issues by guiding development and using appliances to avoid more invasive treatments in the future. Phase two is then used to tweak the smile once all the permanent teeth have come in.
What if treatment is put off?
Putting off treatment can mean more invasive treatment later in life that may not achieve the optimal results. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results using the least invasive treatment methods.
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 jaw alignment. Children can exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow for example can usually be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have a jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Also, if children around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can be used to prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later.
- Beginning treatment now can save your child’s smile later
Children benefit tremendously from receiving early treatment as it can prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life and even evade the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.
- Making records to determine your child’s unique treatment
During your child’s initial consultation, orthodontic records will be taken to determine if your child is eligible for early treatment. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. These records will be used to determine the details of the treatment plan: the types of appliance(s) to be used, the duration of the treatment, and the frequency of visits.
During this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt normally without restriction as a successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path.
- Monitoring the teeth’s progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not yet in their final positions. The final positions of teeth will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. The doctor may choose to selectively remove certain primary (baby) teeth to enhance eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, follow-up appointments are usually necessary every six months to continue monitoring the development.
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis was established and the treatment plan was designed. The appropriate 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 typically requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. After the second phase is completed, the patient is required to wear a retainer to maintain his or her new and improved smile.