What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Most patients can have the perfect smile they are looking for by completing their treatment in one comprehensive single-phase orthodontic treatment. However, there are certain types of orthodontic problems that research has shown are more effectively treated in a two-phase treatment. Two-phase orthodontic treatment is generally a treatment aimed at correcting structural problems in the development of the teeth and jaws. Two-phase treatment can maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your child's life. Dr. Budd limits two-phase treatment recommendations to orthodontic problems that have been proven in peer-reviewed studies to give a better outcome than single phase treatment.
What if treatment is put off?
In some cases, delaying treatment can result in negative changes to the teeth are supporting structures that are not reversible. In other cases, some degree of compromise in the final treatment outcome will be required if treatment is delayed. Early treatment is sometimes the most effective for achieving lasting results.
A Foundation to Build a Beautiful Smile
The goal of each Phase One treatment is unique to each patient but a general goal is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and ensure the upper and lower jaws fit together correctly. Many significant orthodontic problems can be detected long before growth and development is complete. 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 severely crowded front teeth, early treatment can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later.
- Planning now can make a huge difference later in life
The potential benefit for children from early-phase treatment can be tremendous. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.
- Careful diagnosis to determine your child's 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 a 3D scan of the teeth, digital X-rays, and digital photographs. During your child's initial consultation, Dr. Budd will determine if early treatment is necessary.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to finish their development as they erupt. Most patients will have a retainer at this stage to preserve the progress from Phase I treatment and act as a template for the teeth that are still growing in.
- Monitoring the teeth's progress
At the end of the Phase I 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 necessary during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.
Stay healthy and perfect esthetics
The goal of the second phase is to create the "Hollywood" smile and make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth and where the esthetics of the smile are maximized. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces. If a Phase I treatment has already been completed to establish the structural changes needed to correct the bite, Phase Two can often end up being what might be termed "cosmetic fine-tuning" to get the perfect smile with ideal esthetics.
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 18-24 months, although the second phase will often be shorter if a Phase I treatment has already been completed. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.