Thursday, February 2, 2012

What is “two-phase” orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment consists of two separate times a child receives orthodontic treatment. A first phase of treatment is done while the child still has some baby teeth. A second phase takes place when a child has most or all of their permanent teeth. Braces may or may not be used in the first phase of treatment, but are always used in the second phase.

Common reasons for initiating a first phase (Phase I) of treatment are:

- Preventing a problem from developing (preventive treatment);

- Interception of a developing problem before it becomes worse and harder to treat later (interceptive treatment);

- Guidance of the growth of the jaw bones that support the teeth (growth modification).

In my office I recommend a first phase of treatment when I determine that a child’s problem, if left alone, will create an unhealthy environment for the growth and development of his or her teeth, gums, jaws and face. This kind of treatment is timed to predictable stages of dental development to provide the greatest potential for improvement and correction of a child’s bad bite or to take advantage of a child’s growth and development for treatment purposes.