Two-Phase Treatment

Who Needs Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Some orthodontic problems can be easily corrected even late in life. Others require early intervention to get the best results with the least invasive treatment option. Some problems that are better off treated early are crossbites, overbites, and underbites, particularly when they are severe. We also like to use early treatment to prevent trauma caused by protruding front teeth and to correct oral habits that can prove harmful. In some cases, early loss of primary teeth can necessitate early treatment.

Dr. Blacker only opts for early treatment in children who meet very specific criteria. For children who fall outside of these criteria, orthodontic treatment may be needed, but it can wait until later in life.

What Advantages does Two-Phase Treatment Offer?

For those who can benefit from it, the primary advantage to two-phase treatment is that it allows us to correct orthodontic problems in two minimally invasive phases rather than a single phase later in life that requires more drastic measures, such as headgear or surgery. We use your child’s growth to accomplish this. This is a highly specialized process that involves straightening the teeth, guiding the bones, and balancing the facial features.

What if We Choose to Put Off Treatment?

If you choose to put off treatment, your child’s orthodontic problems can still be corrected later in life. However, treatment will not be as easy as it would be with two-phase treatment. Headgear, expanders, and surgery may be required, and chances are the overall treatment time will be longer, and the treatment more expensive. Additionally, early treatment delivers more stable results, so opting out of it may result in problems with your child’s teeth and jaw in their adult years.

How Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment Done?

Two-phase treatment consists of three parts: phase I, resting period, a phase II. These parts are as follows:

  • Phase I: This part of treatment focuses on getting the jaw to the correct size to accommodate all permanent teeth properly. This creates a healthy foundation for the second phase of treatment. It generally lasts between twelve and eighteen months.
  • Resting Period: During this part of treatment, no fixed appliance is used. Instead, the permanent teeth are allowed to freely erupt or are guided with a removable retainer. Since we have ensured there is space for them to do so, some alignment problems will likely be present, but they will not be severe, and will be easily corrected. In some cases, the teeth erupt in the correct spots and no further treatment is needed.
  • Phase II: In this part, we move the teeth into their final positions. This part of treatment takes about eighteen to twenty-four months. Once it is complete, retainers will be used to ensure the teeth stay in the correct position for life.

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