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. Two-phase treatment is meant to maximize the ability to accomplish the ideal smile that will remain stable throughout your life.
What if I put off treatment?
Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your smile, including jaw surgery. Early treatment is most effective for achieving ideal, lasting results.
The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop so that it will accommodate all the permanent teeth. We will also improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together if needed. Children often exhibit 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. One of the biggest signs of this development problem is "buck teeth."
Crowded teeth can also be corrected, and early treatment can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later in life.
Children benefit tremendously from early treatment. Early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices 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 room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path.
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. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis. This allows us to determine when we should begin the second phase of treatment.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth fits in its exact location. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces.
The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces for an average of 22 months. Retainers are then worn as instructed to ensure that the smile lasts.