What Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes by encouraging natural positive growth changes in the jaw positions. This treatment method maximizes the opportunity to correct the general factors contributing to orthodontic problems at the ages problems are best and more easily corrected. The major advantages of two-phase treatment include better aesthetics during sensitive times of social development, a chance to mold the jaw structure more easily, and in some cases a decreased need for adult tooth removal.

What If Treatment Is Put Off?

In the case that treatment is put off, the orthodontist may be limited as to what necessary jaw corrections can still be made, due simply to the reduced growth potential remaining at the beginning of comprehensive treatment (as opposed to what would have been possible at an earlier age). Every child is different. Please call us for a no-obligation consultation to see what your child’s specific treatment needs may be.

Phase One Treatment: A Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles

The goal of the first phase of treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all of the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to one other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that are growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. Also, if children around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later.

  • Planning now can save your child’s smile later

    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, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This helps in preventing the removal of permanent teeth later in life.

  • Making records to determine your child’s 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. Particular attention is paid to the ultimate final result. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During your child’s initial consultation, the orthodontist will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.

Resting and Monitoring Period

After completion of Phase One, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retainers are not usually recommended during this period because they could slow down or interfere with the eruption. It is good to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase should have created enough room for all the permanent teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or displaced.
After the completion of the first phase of treatment, the teeth are not yet in their final positions. Final tooth position will only be established in the second phase of treatment. Removal of specific baby teeth may be recommended in order to create more space or to quicken the eruption of permanent teeth. Because of this, periodic appointments for observation, usually every six months to a year, may be required.

Phase Two Treatment: Stay Healthy and Attractive

The primary goal of Phase Two treatment is to ensure each tooth is in the correct location in the mouth where it fits perfectly with the lips, tongue, cheeks, and other teeth. When this balance is established, your teeth will function together properly. Phase Two begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually involves upper and lower braces for an average period of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to make sure that your child keeps their beautiful, straight smile.