Two-Phase OrthodonticsTwo-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses jaw and facial changes and tooth straightening. The major advantage of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic and comfortable result that will remain stable. The first phase or interceptive treatment can help prevent future tooth extractions or major jaw surgery. It also gives more treatment options for future treatment and can allow for a better comprehensive outcome.
Interceptive care is exactly that, intercepting a problem before it gets out of hand. The timing of treatment and proper treatment planning is extremely important for quality of care. Interceptive treatment will guide future growth and development to minimize and possibly eliminate developing problems. Treatment occurs at a younger age than conventional orthodontic care and is not typically as long. The idea is to shift teeth, manipulate growth, create space for unerupted teeth, break habits and prevent trauma before it is too late. Children between the ages of 7 and 10 are best suited for this sort of treatment. They are flexible, compliant and their growth potential is still at a maximum. Treatment usually lasts 4 to 12 months after which the child is monitored and the decision as to the need for a second phase is made. Most children will require a second, more comprehensive, phase of treatment in order to create a completely stable, functional and aesthetic occlusion.
The second phase of treatment begins once most of the adult teeth have erupted. This phase usually requires 12 months with braces on all of the teeth. After the second phase of treatment retainers will be worn in order to hold the teeth in the correct position.