Two-Phase Treatment

stock photo of two sisters with braces

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.

What if I put off treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is never an emergency. However, some conditions, such as a narrow upper jaw, can negatively influence the development of unerupted teeth. Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life. Proper diagnosis of orthodontic and orthopedic conditions that can benefit from early treatment is critical because all unnecessary early treatment looks like success. 

Phase I

Your 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 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, too little or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children who have at least two of their permanent front teeth in both the upper and lower jaw are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. 

  • Planning now can save your smile later

    Some children benefit tremendously from early phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent tooth impaction (failure to erupt) reduce the need for extraction of permanent teeth as part of the teen age orthodontic treatment plan and in some cases eliminate the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.

  • Making records to determine your 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 laser scans of the teeth, three dimensional x-ray imaging, and photographs. During your child's initial consultation, your doctor may need to take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.

Resting Period

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.

  • 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. Occasionally, selective removal of certain primary (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.

Phase II

Stay healthy and look attractive

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 or custom aligners.

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 every night after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.

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