Two Phase Treatment

Two phase orthodontic treatment is a process that addresses the physical and facial2 Phase Orthodontic Treatment developmental changes over a period of time. It consists of two separate times when a child receives orthodontic treatment.  The first phase of treatment is done while the child still has many or most of their primary, “baby”, or deciduous teeth.  A second phase takes place when the child has most or all of their permanent teeth.  The goal of this treatment is to create a better environment for your child’s permanent teeth.

The first phase of treatment may prevent a problem from developing, may intercept a developing problem or may guide the growth of the bones of the jaws that support the teeth.  Many times without this first phase of treatment, if the problem is left alone, it could create an unhealthy environment for the growth and development of your child’s teeth, gums, jaws and face.  The treatment is timed to predictable stages of dental development to provide the greatest potential for improvement and correction of your child’s malocclusion or bite.  Braces and other fixed or removable appliances may be used during the first phase.  Also, during the first phase of treatment, younger patients may be more cooperative and follow instructions on appliance wear and oral hygiene.

Most patients will require a second phase of treatment, often with traditional braces, to complete the tooth and jaw alignment that was started during the first phase of treatment.  The second phase of treatment moves permanent teeth into their final positions.

Orthodontic treatment and the growth of the child may complement each other.  By timing orthodontic treatment to predictable stages of dental development, it may be possible to take advantage of your own child’s growth and development.  Some problems that can be treated quite well in a growing child may require corrective surgery if treated after growth has occurred.

The best way to determine whether your child requires more than one phase of treatment is to set up an appointment with Dr. Carol Edwards for a diagnosis of your child’s problem.  After the study of your child’s mouth and diagnostic records, a treatment plan is formulated specifically for them to address the problems that need to be corrected.  There is not a “one size fits all” approach for orthodontic care and what is right for one child may not be right for another.