What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process designed for young children that combines tooth straightening with growth modification and orthopedic facial change. It targets facial and dental issues early to ensure that the jaws and permanent teeth develop properly.

Treatment is normally performed in 2 phases. The first phase is scheduled for a young age to maximize the ability of the orthodontist to affect growth and development and the second phase is set-up once most permant teeth have erupted to finalize the bite and refine the perfect smile. 

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child’s oral health. The American Association of Orthodontist recommends that all children see an orthodontist by the age of 7 for a screening appointment, yet many parents do not realize that setting your child up for a beautiful and healthy smile begins at this age. It can also be difficult to recognize significant developing growth problems without the assistance of an orthodontic specialist. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to manipulate growth and dental development at a young age so that an optimal, healthy, functional, and aesthetic result can be achieved during the teen years that will remain stable throughout your child's life.

Not all young children need a 2 phase treatment, but for the ones who do this technique can create beautiful outcomes!

What if treatment is put off?

Putting off treatment can result in a need for longer or more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your child's smile. Early treatment minimizes the possibility of teeth impacting, can imporve breathing, creates room for developing teeth, reduces risk from injury, and may decrease the need for extraction of permanent teeth.  

Phase One

A 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 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. There may also be airway improvement. Phase 1 treatments generally take 6 to 14 months to complete. 

  • Planning now can save your child's smile later

    Children benefit tremendously from early-phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.

  • 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. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During your child's initial consultation, the doctor will take records to determine if early treatment is beneficial. Some patients do not need Phase 1 treatment. 

Resting Period

In this phase, no active treatment is occuring and the permanent teeth are monitored as they erupt. Retaining devices will be designed so that they don't interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the developing 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 the 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.

Phase Two

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. It also allows for the design of an amazing smile the is artistically balanced with your childs unique facial features.  Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces in the pre-teen or teen age group. 

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan was 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 or most permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.