sisters with braces

Two-Phase Treatment

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process combining tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of two-phase orthodontic treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, esthetic results that will remain stable throughout your life.

What if I put off treatment?

Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your smile. Early orthodontic treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results more efficiently.

Phase One

Setting a foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles

The goal of phase one orthodontic treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all permanent teeth and to 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 maxilla that is growing too fast or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age and if treated in time may reduce the need for future orthodontic treatment. 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 8 have crowded front teeth, early orthodontic treatment can avoid the need to extract permanent teeth, by using specialized appliances to create the necessary space to accommodate their permanent teeth.

Planning now can save your smile later

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

Orthodontic records to determine your unique treatment

Orthodontic records are 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. After your initial consultation, we will take orthodontic records to determine the exact treatment necessary and discuss any further findings prior to initiating orthodontic treatment.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may not be recommended if they would interfere with normal 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 a normal eruption path; otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

Monitoring your teeth's progress

At the end of the first phase of orthodontic treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. The final position of the teeth 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 normal eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observations are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.

Phase Two

Stay healthy and look attractive

The goal of the second phase (Phase II) orthodontic treatmentis to make sure each tooth is correctly positioned 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. Phase two usually involves full upper and lower braces, and may be accompanied by an appliance.

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, to correct and realign the teeth and jaw. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months, or less depending on the technology used. At the end of the second phase, retainers are worn to ensure you retain your great smile.

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