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 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. Addressing problematic bite, teeth and jaw issues early maximizes the long-term health and functioning of the bite and esthetics of smile.
A Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles
The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaws 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. Jaws that are growing too much, too little or are too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of seven are found to have a jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Also, if children around the age of seven have crowded front teeth, early treatment can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later.
- Planning now can save your child's smile later
Children can 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
During your child's initial consultation, the doctor will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary. If treatment is indicated, the records are used to design the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of a digital scan of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs.
During this period, the remaining permanent teeth are monitored as they erupt. Retainers are typically used to maintain the alignment of the front permanent teeth, as well as to maintain the space for the remaining unerupted permanent teeth. A successful first phase will have created sufficient space for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt. Without adequate space, these permanent teeth may become impacted or severely displaced.
- Monitoring the progress of the teeth
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final position. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a four to six-month basis, to monitor the ongoing eruption process.
Stay Healthy and Look Attractive
The goal of the second phase is to align each tooth so that it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly and create a beautiful, healthy smile. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces or Invisalign.
The second phase begins when all the permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires full braces or Invisalign for an average of 18-24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful, healthy smile.