Two-Phase Treatment

What is two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase treatment is an approach to correcting dental malocclusion that requires two specific and separate courses of treatment, usually over a few years. Each course of treatment has specific goals, with the first phase generally improving relationships between the two jaws and the second phase detailing the fit of the teeth to a finished, high quality result.

The first phase is designed to intercept developing problems and occurs at a younger age than full braces. It occurs when the child is just beginning permanent tooth eruption and still has many baby teeth remaining.

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

The major advantage of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish an ideal, healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.

What if treatment is put off?

The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possibility of a compromised result that may not be as stable or aesthetically excellent.

Phase I Treatment: Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth and a great smile

The goals of phase 1 treatment are as different as the problems encountered. Frequently, however, a goal of first phase treatment is to improve skeletal relationship between the two jaws so that future eruption of permanent teeth will be improved and the upper and lower jaws more correctly positioned relative to each other. Correcting these relationships early simplifies the final treatment phase to more usual and less severe corrections in order to achieve the very best result possible.

Children who exhibit severe upper jaw protrusion or deficient lower jaw can be recognized at an early age and are candidiates for early treatment. Also, early treatment can frequently reduce severe developing dental crowding and minimize the need for permanent tooth removal during phase 2 care.

Monitoring your teeth’s progress between phase 1 and phase 2

In other words, at the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions, and many permanent teeth have not even erupted yet. Final tooth positions and a superior fit will be 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 interim phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.

Phase 2 Treatment: Finishing the job to a high-quality orthodontic standard

Stay healthy and look attractive

Regardless of most early treatment efforts, a final phase of care once all of the permanent teeth have erupted is usual. This phase may entail full braces like other orthodontic patients or may be more limited, depending upon the need when all permanent teeth are present and their fit can be evaluated.

If full treatment is advised, normally the time is somewhat less than patients who have not received phase 1 treatment, but the largest advantage is the opportunity to achieve a more ideal correction in terms of fit of the teeth, fewer permanent teeth needing to be removed, and better facial relationships in the final result.