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 treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.
What if I put off treatment?
The disadvantage of waiting for the complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possiblity of a compromised result that may not be stable.
Your 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.
- Planning now can save your smile later
Because they are growing rapidly, children benefit tremendously from early-phase 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 the eruption of all permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all the permanet teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an optimal result with braces.
- Making records to determine your 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, Dr. Sabatino will recommend records to determine if early treatment is necessary.
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.
- Monitoring your teeth's progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis. Whenever possible, Dr. Sabatino tries to avoid the removal of teeth. The final result is a full, wide smile.
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. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces.
Movement and Retention
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 permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 16 to 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile. Retention is a very important part of maintaining your result!