Two-Phase Treatment

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process combining 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 result.

  • Making records to determine your 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 models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. 

Phase I

The American association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist when the front four permanent teeth (incisors) begin to erupt, around the age of 7 years. In our office, if, at this examination we find that the teeth and jaws are off only by a small amount (mild malocclusion), we place the patient on a yearly recall and treat them one time, when all the permanent teeth erupt, around 12-13 years of age. 

However, if at the initial examination around 7-8 years of age, we find that the patients teeth or jaws are off by a moderate to severe amount (moderate to severe malocclusion), then we might recommend Two-Phase orthodontic treatment. In Two-phase treatment, the patient receives about 8-12 months of Phase I treatment around the age of 8 years (often upper teeth only) to straighten the teeth and correct the malocclusion.

Indcations for Phase I Treatment:

  • Upper teeth sticking out
  • Crowding of upper/lower teeth
  • Spacing of upper/lower teeth
  • Upper front tooth/teeth biting behind lower front teeth (Anterior Crossbite)
  • Upper back teeth biting inside lower teeth (Posterior Crossbite)
  • Wear of teeth due to uneven bite
  • Early loss of baby teeth
  • Habits, such as thumb sucking and tongue thrust
  • Early loss of baby teeth

Resting Period

After Phase I treatment the braces are removed and the patient is given a retainer to wear to bed to hold the results we have achieved. We see the patient every 6-8 months during this Resting Phase while the permanent teeth erupt.

Phase II

Once all the permanent teeth have erupted, around 12-13 years of age, the patient receives a second phase of complete upper and lower braces to straigten all the permanent teeth and finalize the bite.

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 II  involves full upper and lower braces.


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