Two-phase orthodontic treatment is the customized process of straightening the teeth while taking advantage of the natural growth process. When we implement early orthodontic treatment in carefully timed phases, we have the opportunity to create healthy and functional smiles that are more aesthetic and more stable. Early treatment typically produces longer lasting results and reduces the necessity of more invasive treatment in the future.
In the first phase of treatment, we aim to promote proper jaw development, create space for the permanent teeth, and improve the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. When we recognize and begin treating the early signs of future jaw problems in children around the ages of 7 or 8, we may be able to prevent the extraction of the permanent teeth later in life.
Detailed orthodontic records are needed to aid us in selecting your appliances and estimating the length of your treatment. These records might include study models, digital X-rays, and pictures. With this information, Dr. Fleming can determine if and when treatment should begin. The recommended treatment may include the use of space maintainers, crib appliances, palatal expanders, and more.
After the first phase, it is important to allow the permanent teeth the freedom to continue erupting normally. During this time, we will monitor your child’s progress and growth patterns by scheduling periodic checkups until the second phase begins. It might also be necessary to selectively remove some of the primary teeth to enhance the eruption process.
In the second phase, our goal is to create harmony between the lips, teeth, cheeks, and tongue, as well as a healthy relationship between the upper and lower jaws. This phase is usually implemented after all of the permanent teeth have emerged. With the establishment of the proper equilibrium, the teeth and jaws can function together in a healthy manner. In phase two, we will typically introduce full upper and lower braces to complete the process.
Upon the completion of the second phase, a retainer will need to be worn to maintain the results.
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