The Two-Phase Treatment Advantage for Young Patients Near Manassas, VA
Many people mistakenly believe that orthodontic treatment can only begin in the teens. The fact is that two-phase orthodontic treatment employed at Smileworks Orthodontics commences at a much younger age and is often positively life-changing for patients. This is a directed process that combines orthodontic correction with facial growth and changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to minimize the need for more complicated or intensive treatments in the future while maximizing treatment benefits that will last throughout life.
While two-phase treatment is not necessary for all patients, it can be quite beneficial for appropriate patients. Early treatment is always best and most effective for excellent, lasting results. Delaying treatment can cause the need for more invasive or costly treatment down the line.
Phase one treatment aims to help the jaws develop correctly to adequately accommodate every permanent tooth and ensure a proper bite. Problems with upper jaw growth can be apparent at an early age to an orthodontist. Children older than six with jaw problems are candidates for phase one treatment. Additionally, children near the age of eight years with crowded front teeth can also undergo early treatment. This treatment can eliminate the need for extraction of permanent teeth later on.
Permanent teeth are allowed to erupt on their own during the resting phase. Dr. Hussaini may recommend a retaining device if it does not interfere with eruption. Phase one treatment will have made sufficient room for the permanent teeth to come in so that impaction or serious displacement does not occur. At this time, it is often best to allow any already-erupted permanent teeth some freedom of movement.
It is important that a patient’s progress is monitored by Dr. Hussaini at the end of phase one treatment. Some baby teeth may need to be removed if they are in the way of permanent teeth eruption. So, it is important to keep periodic observations appointments, usually at about six-month intervals.
Now that all permanent teeth have erupted, we need to make sure that everything is in proper position and alignment for a correct bite and straight teeth. This begins phase two, and this phase usually consists of full upper and lower braces.
Patients will need to wear these braces – with periodic adjustments – for an average of 24 months. Afterward, retainers are often used to make certain the teeth stay in the correct position so that the patient can enjoy a beautiful smile for life.