What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Many times, specific problems such as crossbites, severe protrusion, severe crowding, and teeth alignment that cause self-esteem issues are best corrected early, around the age of 8. However, some problems are best corrected later when all the permanent teeth are in around the age of 12 or 13. We offer free consults for our patients so we can find out if they are a proper candidate for early orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Nirenblatt follows the guidelines of the American Association of Orthodontists in recommending that all children receive a complimentary orthodontic exam by age 7.

Phase One

A Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles

The goal of Phase-One treatment is to help jaw development 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 jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to 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 need to extract permanent teeth later. Early treatment of certain problems will make treatment in the teen years more successful and could reduce the need for surgical procedures in the adult years.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may not be recommended if they might interfere with eruption. 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.

  • Monitoring the teeth's progressAt 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 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 where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaw.

The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces or clear aligners for an average of 18 months.  Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.