Today, Hamer & Glasick Orthodontics is diving into an explanation of two-phase orthodontic treatment. This specialized approach, designed to optimize tooth movement and facial development, can significantly benefit children. From shorter treatment times to improved oral health, let’s explore why the benefits of two-phase treatment could be a game-changer for your child’s smile.
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is a specialized orthodontic approach that optimizes tooth movement and facial development by utilizing a child’s natural growth process. It’s divided into two parts, hence the name. The first phase begins while a child still has most of their primary or “baby” teeth. The second phase commences once most of the permanent teeth have erupted. This method allows orthodontists to correct developmental issues early and guide the growth of the jaw, setting the stage for a healthier smile in adulthood. Below is a closer look at these phases to give context to their benefits.
The main goal of this phase is to address significant developmental problems early, particularly those related to jaw growth and alignment. Potential misalignments could include crossbite, overbite, underbite, or severe crowding or spacing issues.
During this phase, the orthodontist may use a variety of appliances such as expanders, partial braces, or retainers to guide the growth of the jaw and make room for the incoming permanent teeth. Phase One is a proactive approach that aims to correct issues before they become more complex. By guiding the jaw’s growth, Phase One treatment can help create a better environment for the permanent teeth to erupt, leading to better alignment and fit.
What Is The Resting Period?
Once Phase One is complete, there will be a resting period before we begin Phase Two. The resting period is a crucial stage between the two phases of treatment. During this time, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt naturally without any orthodontic appliances in place. This break allows the mouth to recuperate and allows the teeth to settle into their new positions. It’s a period of observation as the orthodontist monitors the eruption of the permanent teeth and ensures that the benefits gained from Phase One are maintained. This resting period sets the stage for the final phase of treatment, providing optimal results.
What is Phase Two?
Phase Two, often referred to as the “Fine-Tuning Phase,” begins once most of the permanent teeth have erupted. This phase is all about perfecting the patient’s smile and bite. While Phase One focuses on the correct growth and alignment of the jaw, Phase Two is dedicated to ensuring each tooth is located in the right position to harmonize with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth.
During this phase, Dr. Hamer or Dr. Glassick usually apply full upper and lower braces to all the permanent teeth. The exact braces type will depend on the individual’s needs and may include traditional metal braces, clear braces, or even Invisalign aligners. The goal is to precisely and carefully move each tooth to its optimal position.
The duration of Phase Two varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the case and the individual’s response to treatment. However, it typically lasts for a period of 12 to 24 months.
What Are The Benefits Of Two-Phase Treatment?
Now, let’s get to what you’re really here for—the advantages of performing orthodontic treatment in two phases!
Potential for Shorter Treatment Time in Adolescence
By addressing specific orthodontic issues early, Phase One can simplify the second phase of treatment, potentially leading to a shorter time in braces during the teenage years, which is often a welcome benefit for many adolescents in Charlottesville and Crozet.
Prevention of More Invasive Treatments
Early intervention can prevent the need for more invasive treatments later on. For instance, by guiding jaw growth and addressing crowding issues early, there may be less need for tooth extractions or jaw surgery in the future.
Children’s jaws are still growing and developing. Two-phase treatment takes advantage of this growth, making it easier for Dr. Hamer or Dr. Glassick to manipulate their teeth and jaw to where they should be for optimal function, aesthetics, and health. Because treatment is more straightforward and takes less time, you and your child will save money!
Let’s consider Ryan, an adult patient. Ryan has had the same orthodontic issue of overcrowded teeth and jaw misalignment for his entire life. After an initial assessment appointment, he learned he would need invasive treatment options (like jaw surgery or pulling teeth) to fix his issues. If Ryan had gotten treatment as a child, he would have likely been able to fix his bite with two-phase treatment and avoid the previously mentioned procedures. Even if Ryan did not need surgery, two-phase treatment would have been quicker and likely less expensive than his options as an adult.
More Stable and Long-Lasting Results
By taking a proactive approach and addressing issues early, two-phase treatment often leads to more stable results. The changes made during the first phase of treatment can help create an unwavering and harmonious environment for the permanent teeth, leading to results that are more likely to last into adulthood.
Improved Aesthetics and Self-Esteem
Two-phase treatment can also have significant benefits for a child’s self-esteem. By addressing orthodontic issues early, children can enjoy a more attractive smile during their formative years, boosting their confidence and self-esteem for years to come.
Better Oral Health
Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Also, a good bite can prevent abnormal tooth wear, chewing difficulties, speech problems, and breathing issues.
How Do I Know If My Child Needs Treatment?
Schedule a free consultation with Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics in Charlottesville or Crozet to determine if your kid(s) needs orthodontic treatment. We suggest bringing them in for their first consultation by age seven, especially if you believe two-phase treatment might be necessary. Still, it is never too late to begin orthodontic care.
We are honored to be able to provide people of all ages with such essential services, and we can’t wait to discover what orthodontics can do for your loved ones! We hope to see you soon!