What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment also called “early phase treatment”, is a specialized process that takes advantage of a critical period of jaw growth to maximize the potential for successful tooth alignment in the future. In some cases, correcting tooth and jaw positioning early on encourages more satisfactory dental and facial development during the teen and pre-teen years.
Who Needs Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?
Definitely not everyone needs two-phase orthodontic treatment. At the age of six, we can begin to identify serious misalignment issues, for example an upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough. Children with severe alignment problems can benefit substantially by an early dose of orthodontic treatment. If left untreated, jaw discrepancies and overcrowding will likely get worse over time and may become too severe for braces to be effective. Early orthodontic intervention can avoid the need for extraction and other complicated, expensive procedures later on.
Overall, the benefits of two-phase treatment are:
- Improved health, function and aesthetics
- Reduced need for extraction
- Reduced need for jaw surgery
- Improved airways
- A nicer smile
- Proper facial growth potential
First Phase (Early Phase)
Prevention now can save your child’s smile for a lifetime.
The goal of Phase-One treatment is to help the jaw develop properly to accommodate all the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. This simply means that the child still has both permanent and baby teeth.
During this treatment phase, which usually takes 12-18 months, we correct problems such as overcrowding and functional and skeletal problems with the jaw to encourage a more balanced bite. The treatment may include a combination of appliances, for example, a removable retainer plus braces on existing permanent teeth.
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances that will be used for your child, the duration of treatment, as well as the frequency of office visits. Records consist of models or scanning of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During the initial consultation, Dr. Hessamfar will take x-rays to determine if early treatment is necessary.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth freedom for movement. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to erupt. This will avoid impacted and displaced teeth.
Monitoring the progress of your child’s teeth
We will see you during the resting period, usually once every 3-6 months, to monitor your progress.
The second phase of treatment begins once all of the permanent teeth have erupted. It usually involves a full set of upper and lower braces. The goal is to get each tooth in the exact location in the mouth where it is in conformity with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. Based on the severity of the problem, generally braces will remain on all teeth for an average of 12 to 24 months. Retainers are worn after braces comes off to ensure a beautiful smile for a lifetime.
Call our office to find out if your child may benefit from two-phase orthodontics!