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, aesthetic result 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 treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.
Phase — One
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 to improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Here at Rice Orthodontics, we only treat with a first phase of treatment if absolutely necessary. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper that is growing too much or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children, over the age of 6, are found to have this jaw discrepancy (imbalance), they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Also, if children around the age of 6 have crowded front teeth, early treatment can avoid the need to extract permanent teeth later.
Planning now can save your 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. Delaying treatment until all permanent teeth have erupted could result in a jaw discrepancy (imbalance) too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces. Often at the initial exam, we can make simple inexpensive treatment recommendations that may allow your child to avoid Phase – One treatment. This is why I want to evaluate your child by 7 years old or as soon as possible if over 7.
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 X-rays, photographs, and if necessary models of the teeth. During your child's initial consultation, our team will take photos and x-rays so Dr. Rice can determine if early treatment is necessary.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices are usually recommended unless they would interfere with eruption. 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. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Dr. Rice wants to closely monitor the eruption of the remaining permanent teeth. Therefore, periodic recall appointments will be necessary approximately every 6 months.
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. Phase two usually involves full upper and lower braces.
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 may begin when the last back baby teeth are loose and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18-24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.