Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical changes. The major advantage of Two-Phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.
The disadvantage of waiting for all permanent teeth for someone with severe crowding may mean the difference between regaining space for all the permanent teeth or having to extract permanent teeth at a later date. For someone with a jaw discrepancy it could result in the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.
The goal of Phase-One Treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age seven 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 tremendously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing devices or appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. As Damon® providers, we can usually create space for the permanent teeth without the use of palatal expanders, the rigid metal plates that extend across the palate. We accomplish this with the combination of braces and wires that gently expand the jaws over time. Thus, a good foundation can be established and provides adequate room for all emerging permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent future 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 alone.
Taking Records to determine your child’s unique treatment
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of devices to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs.
In this stage, once the correction is achieved, retainers are placed while the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to emerge. We will see your child two to three times a year to monitor the remaining tooth eruption. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced. It is entirely possible that a successful first phase will avoid the need for a second phase. However, many factors are involved that make up this determination, which will be discussed at your consultation.
Monitoring your child’s progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may assist in guiding the permanent teeth into their correct final positions. We will see your child at four month intervals to monitor this process.
A main goal of the second phase is to make sure that each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. This balance will enable the teeth to function together properly. An equally important goal is to achieve a broad beautiful smile.
Movement and Retention
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan established. Braces or other appliances were used on the front teeth and molars to correct the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have emerged and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.