Common Problems | About Orthodontics | Treatment Information | Two-Phase Treatment | Growth Modification | AcceleDent™ | Surgical Orthodontics | Types of Braces | Damon® System | Types of Appliances | Invisalign®
What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process combining tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life. Not everyone is a candidate for two-phase treatment, only about 15 percent of children actually need it.
The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
For those patients who have clear indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:
- Influence jaw growth in a positive manner
- Harmonize width of the dental arches
- Improve eruption patterns
- Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve aesthetics and self-esteem
- Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics
- Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
- Improve some speech problems
- Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth
What if I put off treatment?
Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later, as in jaw surgery or permanent tooth extractions. Early treatment is most effective for achieving optimal and lasting results.
The first phase of treatment is usually during the mixed dentition stage (around age 7-9) with a treatment time of 6-12 months. 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 have crowded front teeth(, early treatment can avoid the need to extract permanent teeth later.
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. 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 primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic appointments for observation are necessary.
Phase — Two
The second phase of treatment is usually 2-3 years after phase I was completed, once all permanent teeth have erupted. 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.