What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your child’s life.
What if treatment is put off?
Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your child’s smile. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.
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 around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later. Treatment times for Phase 1 can range from 6-18 months depending on the complexity of the correction needed and the fees compared to full treatment are reduced accordingly as well.
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 recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually in 6 month intervals, and are unlimited and complimentary until when Phase Two is necessary.
The goal of the second phase of treatment 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. When your child is ready for Phase Two, we will give you the choice of Invisalign or Damon Smile braces at a reduced treatment fee as a courtesy for having completed Phase 1 treatment in our practice!
The second phase typically begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and treatment times can vary between 12-24 months, depending on the degree of correction needed. As part of our all-inclusive treatment, elective placement of permanent retainers in conjunction with clear removable retainers at night while sleeping are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile for a lifetime!
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