What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines 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 results that will remain stable throughout your child's life. This is done by taking advantage of a child's natural growth potential to correct problems that can not be corrected later once growth is completed. NOT every patient is a candidate for two-phase treatment. In fact MOST younger patients we see do not require any treatment at all at the time we see them, so they are placed on recall appointments every 6 to 12 months to monitor growth and tooth eruption until they are ready for treament. Our initial exams as well as all follow-up exams are always complimentary, which gives you the peace of mind that a professional is monitoring your child's skeletal and tooth development, so you don't have to!
What if treatment is put off?
Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your child's smile. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, every child should have an initial orthodontic evaluation at age 7 to determine whether there are problems that need to be corrected early. Many times at age 7 there are no orthodontic issues, in which case we will see your child when he or she is older.
A 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.
For example, if they suck their thumb or a blankie, this habit may cause an open bite as well as a narrrow palate and complicated orthodontic problems down the road. We have orthodontic appliances to stop thumb sucking which are easy, affordable and EFFECTIVE!
Children with an underbite usually respond great to early Phase One treatment, preventing more complicated orthodontic problems in the future which are sometimes impossible to correct.
There are other tooth eruption and jaw development problems that only early intervention Phase One treatment can correct. These problems can only be diagnosed by an orthodontic specialist. Please feel free to come in and see Dr. Vu or Dr. Shadow for a complimentary exam and advice anytime!
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.
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. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.
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.
The second phase begins when most or all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 12-24 months. This is when all the teeth and bite are made to look perfect! Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.
When comes to keeping your teeth straight for the rest of life, nobody is more diligent than Dr. Vu and Dr. Shadow! They will see you for retainer follow-ups as much as needed at no charge to make sure your retainers are working and your teeth staying straight. Their "kids" who've gone off to college often come visit them during breaks to have their retainers checked and also to say hi! Every child in our office is their "kid"!