What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines tooth straightening with physical, facial changes in a growing patient. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to address problems that would become worse over time if left untreated so that later rounds of orthodontic treatment are simpler to carry out or not needed.
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. Depending on the particular issue, early treatment can be the most effective way to achieve lasting results.
A Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles
The goal of Phase One treatment is to address any problems that would become worse over time if left untreated or to treat a problem that needs immediate attention and shouold not wait. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. For example, a jaw that is growing too much, or too little, or is too narrow, can 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 simplify interventions that are needed when they become older.
- Planning now can save your child's smile later
Some 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
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 left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may or may not be recommended if they would interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase will have created as much room as possible for permanent teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
- 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 resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.
Stay healthy and look attractive
The goal of the second phase is to fix any remaining issues not addressed during Phase I and to make sure each tooth finds 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.
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. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.