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What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines tooth straightening and correcting physical, facial changes. The purpose of this treatment is to maximize ideal oral health, functionality and aesthetic results that will remain stable throughout the patient’s life.

What if I put off treatment?

Putting off treatment can mean more invasive treatment later in life and incomplete results. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results in recommended cases.

Phase One

Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles

The goal of Phase One treatment is to guide the development of the jaws. This process will help the mouth accommodate all the permanent teeth as well as improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. For example, an over- or underdeveloped jaw can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Also, if children around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can prevent the extraction of permanent teeth later.

Planning now can save your smile later
Some children benefit tremendously from early-phase treatment. Receiving early treatment can prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for jaw realignment surgery.

Making records to determine your unique treatment
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine which type of braces is best as well as the duration of treatment time and the frequency of visits. Records can consist of models of the teeth, X-rays and photographs. During your child’s initial consultation, our orthodontist will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may be recommended if they do not interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase opens space for permanent teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

Monitoring your teeth’s progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. These positions will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be recommended during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments are necessary for observation, usually on a six-month basis.

Phase Two

Stay healthy and look attractive

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth that is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces.

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records and the diagnosis and treatment plan are made. Certain types of braces are used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaw. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and it usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 16-20 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure the patient retains a beautiful smile.

If you have any questions about our Two-Phase Treatment in Post Falls, Idaho, or if you would like to set up your child’s consultation with Dr. Brent Rickheim, we invite you to contact our practice today at 208-618-5111.