Two Phase Treatment
At Arizona Orthodontic Studio, we think of orthodontic treatment as having two phases. In order to appropriately straighten your teeth and give you the best result, facial changes may be necessary before you have braces. Our goal with two-phase treatment is to maximize this opportunity to give you a healthy, functional smile and aesthetics that will remain with you throughout your life.
While orthodontics can be done at any age, putting off your treatment until later in life may result in a more invasive procedure down the road and your options may be much more limited than they are now. Treating orthodontic issues early gives us the best chance for lifelong results.
Phase One – Building the Foundation for a Lifetime
Our goal during phase one is to assist your jaw so that it can develop properly and accommodate all the permanent teeth. By doing so, we can improve your bite (the way that your jaws come together).
We often spot the early signs of jaw problems in children as they are growing and developing. Some of the problems we might see early on include an upper jaw that is growing too rapidly or is clearly too narrow. Once a child is over the age of six, we can begin early orthodontic interventions to solve these problems.
Another common issue that can be spotted early is permanent tooth crowding in children over the age of eight. By starting treatment now, we can avoid the need for extracting teeth later on.
Plan Now for a Better Smile Later
By treating your child today with orthodontic interventions, we can avoid extractions and other surgical procedures later. When you come in early for an orthodontic evaluation, we also start your orthodontic record, including models, photographs, and x-rays. These will be extremely helpful if we determine that orthodontic treatment will be needed later on.
The Resting Period
Following phase one, we’ll allow the rest of the permanent teeth to erupt without interference. Since phase one created the room needed, the permanent teeth can now find an appropriate eruption path. Continuing treatment during this phase could lead to impaction or displacement – two issues we definitely want to avoid!
We do want to note that we don’t expect the teeth to be in perfect alignment following phase one. That will be accomplished during the second phase. Phase one is about laying the groundwork to make phase two simpler and less invasive. To determine the best course of action, we’ll request periodic recall appointments, usually about every six months.
Phase Two – Improving Health and Aesthetics
During the second phase of your treatment, we’ll make sure that each tooth is moved to the precise location to create harmony in your mouth. Your mouth is so complex, but with a little effort, we can make the changes necessary so that each part will work together perfectly.
Phase two is when we begin using full upper and lower braces. Since we created a complete record and treatment plan during phase one, the transition into phase two will be smooth. It will begin once all the permanent teeth have erupted and typically lasts for about 24 months.
Following phase two, we will prescribe retainers to allow you to maintain the beautiful smile we’ve created.