Two-phase orthodontic treatment

What are the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

The major advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment is to address problems that are more effectively treated early and to minimize the length and complexity of later treatment (Phase II). Using this technique, we are able to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional and aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout life.

What if I put off treatment?

The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.

First Phase Treatment: your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth

Dr. Austin’s goal for your first phase of treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age 6 are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.

Resting and Monitoring your Teeth’s Progress

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Dr. Austin will adjust your retainer as the teeth erupt while maintaining the corrections already made with your phase I treatment. These transitional retainers are only worn at night. In most cases, at the end of this phase teeth are not in their final positions. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a four to six-month basis.

Planning now can save your child’s smile later

Because children are growing rapidly, they can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with later Single Phase Treatment.

Making digital records to determine your child’s unique treatment

Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the best method of correction, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of digital models of the teeth, a lateral cephalometric radiograph, a panorex radiograph and intraoral and extraoral photographs.

Second Phase Treatment: Stay healthy and look attractive

Once all the permanent teeth erupt, the second phase of treatment will address the alignment and final occlusion for optimum function and esthetic results.

Movement and Retention

Final retainers are provided at the completion of treatment. We offer clear Invisalign style retainers, Hawley retainers, which are colored acrylic with wires, and fixed retainers which are lingually bonded behind the teeth. For an additional fee, we offer “the Vivera retainer program” from Invisalign that offers four sets of fresh, strong retainers to maintain final position. If you have experienced some minor relapse, the Vivera retainer can be used for correction.

If you would like more information about two-phase orthodontic treatment or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call Austin Orthodontics in Santa Monica at (310) 939-8233.