What is two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized orthodontic process combining tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the most ideal, healthy, functional, esthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.
What if I put off treatment?
In certain situations, it is possible that putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your smile. Early treatment may be most effective for achieving lasting results.
The goal of phase-one treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and to 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. Phase-one usually involves the placement of braces only on your child’s permanent teeth. During the initial consultation, your doctor will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.
In this period after phase-one, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retainers may not be recommended if they interfere with eruption. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path; otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
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 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.
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 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 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 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.