Two-Phase Treatment

What Is Two-Phase Treatment?

Two-phase treatment is a very particular type of orthodontic process that involves not only jaw and facial changes, but tooth straightening as well.

Two-phase treatment is an ideal way to help the jaws develop to guarantee adequate space for ALL permanent teeth, with a specific emphasis on permanent canines.

The first phase of treatment will begin while the child still has most of his or her baby teeth. This is not done just for the sake of their appearance – it’s about making sure that there is sufficient space for those permanent teeth to come in exactly how they should. Using this method, an orthodontist can anticipate common problems and fix them before they occur.

The second phase of treatment will begin when the child has most of their adult teeth. Most children will require a second, more comprehensive phase of treatment to create a stable environment for their adult teeth to shift and move, with the end goal of creating a gorgeous smile.

What Is the Advantage of Two-Phase Treatment?

The reason many orthodontists recommend two-phase treatment is that it allows time to stop any potential concerns before the child has all their adult teeth. If the orthodontist can create a strong foundation for a healthy mouth at a young age, the results of orthodontic work will remain stable over time – thus avoiding the need for additional treatment in the future.

Even going beyond that, two-phase treatment brings with it a wide array of different benefits that cannot be ignored. These include things like:

  • It can help reduce the chance a permanent tooth might need to be pulled.
  • There are certain types of problems that can be treated quite well in a child who is still developing that may require corrective surgery if left unchecked until the patient reaches adulthood.
  • It can help intervene with situations like a child who continues sucking on things, or who goes through abnormal swallowing.
  • It can help change the shape of the jaw bone in a way that supports the development of the teeth.
  • It can help tuck in protruding front teeth, thus dramatically reducing the risk that those teeth will be broken or knocked out.
  • And many, many others.

How Much Will Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment Cost?

The answer to this question is going to vary wildly depending on the patient, as no two kids are created in quite the same way. Everyone develops differently, and certain types of dental issues will simply take longer to correct than others.

To learn more about your payment options, contact our office today. 

Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment for All Ages?

Generally speaking, two-phase treatment is designed for kids – but not all kids are necessarily going to be an ideal candidate. This isn’t a problem with the technique itself – it’s just that most orthodontic problems can be successfully treated in one phase of a comprehensive treatment plan.

When Should My Child Start Two-Phase Treatment?

To best answer this question, it’s important to understand the true goal of two-phase treatment: your orthodontist is trying to shift the teeth in a way that manipulates growth, creates space for unerupted teeth, breaks bad habits and prevents future trauma – all before you’ve missed out on your window to do so.

Because of that, it’s recommended that kids between the ages of seven and 10 go through this sort of treatment if it is deemed necessary. Kids at this age are by far the most flexible and compliant, and their mouth has the potential to grow and change. With the right foundation, the child can develop a set of healthy adult teeth that require minimal orthodontic intervention.

For the record, the American Association of Orthodontists’ (also referred to as the AAO for short) recommends that all children have their first check-up with an orthodontist no later than age seven.

Overall, treatment usually lasts somewhere between 14 and 18 months – after which the child will continue to be monitored until a decision is made regarding whether or not a second phase is even necessary. Having said that, most kids do require a second step, which will include a new phase of treatment that will create the stable, functional, and appealing smile that your orthodontist was trying to unlock in the first place.

Why Are Braces Done in Two Phases?

Braces are sometimes done in two phases because this is necessary due to the way your child is developing. Remember that the second phase of treatment only begins after the eruption of most of the child’s adult teeth.

Because of the important work that was done during the first phase, braces in the second phase usually require less than 18 months to hit peak effectiveness. And again, two-phase treatment is all about being as proactive as possible while you still can do so.

It’s important to note that after the second phase of treatment, your child will still need to wear his or her retainer to make sure that the teeth “hold” in their correct position for the remainder of their development.

In the end, it’s important to remember that the real goal of two-phase orthodontic treatment is to give your child the best chance possible at having a healthy, beautiful smile. Yes, there are techniques available that can help accomplish this when the child is older, or even after they’ve reached adulthood. But the fact of the matter is, two-phase treatment is one of the best and most effective ways to accomplish your goals while the child is still developing.

Likewise, Dr. Dressler will be able to continue to monitor growth and development before, during, and after two-phase treatment, all in the name of making sure that they have access to the most appropriate treatment at any given moment. Most parents will be able to agree, that’s the most important benefit of all.