What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process for children who have more complex problems. These problems are usually a combination of both tooth alignment problems and jaw size or relationship discrepancies. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to achieve the ideal healthy, functional and esthetic result that will remain stable throughout a lifetime.
What if I postpone treatment?
Postponing treatment can result in a need for more complex treatment later or the extraction of permanent teeth which might have been avoided with early treatment.
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.
- 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 photographs and a 3D scan which produces both X-rays and digital models. During your child's initial consultation, Dr. Reese and his staff will take the appropriate records to determine if early treatment is necessary.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retainers are usually used during this time unless they would interfere with eruption of the permanent teeth. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path; otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
- Monitoring your 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 necessary during this resting phase.
Finishing and Detailing the Alignment and Occlusion for a Healthy and Beautiful Smile
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.
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 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.