Phase One (Preventive/Interceptive)
The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough, or is too narrow, wide or asymmetrical can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have any of these jaw discrepancies, they may be candidates for early orthodontic treatment.
Children grow rapidly, therefore can benefit greatly from an interceptive phase of orthodontic treatment. With orthodontic appliances, we can direct the growth toward the proper relationship between the upper & lower jaws. We can also provide adequate room for all of the permanent teeth to erupt into a more natural position. Avoiding a necessary preventive phase of treatment & awaiting for all of the permanent teeth to erupt may require adult tooth extraction or a functionally unstable bite requiring jaw surgery.
Resting Period (Intermediate)
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Some tooth guidance can be achieved in this resting period by adjusting retainers. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
Occasionally, the teeth erupt more rapidly than anticipated during the first phase, and the Patient is then able to transition directly into their second phase of treatment without an intermediate resting period.
We will continue to monitor your teeth’s progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a four to six-month basis.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it 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. The second phase usually begins when most of the permanent have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 12-24 months. Retainers are always worn after this final phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile for life!