What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will help to improve stability throughout your life.
What if I put off treatment?
The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.
First Phase Treatment: Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth
The goal of first phase treatment is to improve the jaw relationships so that the upper and lower jaws relate to each other appropriately. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age 6 are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.
Planning now can save your smile later
Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces later.
Making records to determine your unique treatment
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine if early treatment is indicated and the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, x-rays, and photographs.
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. 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.
When all of the permanent teeth have erupted, Dr. Ted and Dr. Lyndsey recommend having new records taken to evaluate the need of a second phase of treatment.
Second Phase Treatment: 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.
Movement & Retention
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, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated 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.