Benefits of Two-Phase Treatment

Pioneer Orthodontics is your resource for all orthodontic needs; a big part of that is keeping you informed on the topics you care about. We wanted to highlight the two-phase treatment and how it can work wonders for your child’s smile. It’s common for parents in and around Lincoln and York to have never heard of two-phase treatment. And that’s perfectly normal since it’s not necessary for every child. But if Dr. Tewes recommends it, it can make all the difference. 

But what is it, anyway? How does it work? 

We’ll answer all that and more below, so keep reading! 

What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Now, you might wonder, what exactly is two-phase orthodontic treatment, and how might it benefit my child? Well, we’re glad you asked! This type of treatment addresses orthodontic concerns in two separate stages. An initial interceptive stage typically begins when a child is around 7-9 years old, and both permanent and baby teeth are present. This phase focuses on correcting specific issues that, if dealt with early, improve treatment outcomes long-term or simplify later treatment. After the first phase, we’ll see your child several times a year to monitor the permanent teeth’ growth and development and eruption. A second stage, which can involve braces or aligners, is initiated when the child is older and has all permanent teeth. This phase finalizes both alignment and bite correction. 

Why Two Phases?

At Pioneer Orthodontics, we work hard to provide the best possible treatment for our patients, no matter what. We only recommend interceptive treatment (a fancy term for Phase I) if it will provide an advantage over starting later. By starting treatment early, we can often guide the growth and development of your child’s jaw and teeth, leading to a healthier bite and more stable results in the long run. The goal of early treatment is to take advantage of ideal treatment timing to set your child up for success when it comes to orthodontic health.

Remember, most children won’t need two-phase treatment, but if we recommend it, rest assured that we’ll be with you every step to ensure your child receives the best care possible. If early treatment is not indicated, we will monitor your child’s growth and dental development to ensure treatment is initiated at the ideal time.

What if I delay treatment?

Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your child’s smile and bite. When needed, early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.

Benefits of Two-Phase Treatment

Who Needs Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment? 

While most children will benefit from one simple phase of orthodontic treatment, this leaves roughly 10% for whom a two-phase approach is most helpful to secure your child’s perfect smile and best possible oral health. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child receive their first Orthodontist evaluation by age 7. 

This is the case as, by age 7; your child should have a mix of baby teeth and permanent eruptions (the technical term for budding teeth). Dr. Tewes can quickly determine at this point in your child’s development a good picture of how their teeth and jaw will end up. This means that any developing issues, such as crowding, a potential under/overbite, crossbite, or many other problems, can be most effectively addressed before they more firmly take root. 

While Dr. Tewes may decide to wait and see how things proceed instead of going ahead and forming a two-phase treatment plan, your child must receive the earliest possible interventions to minimize issues down the line.

How Can My Child Benefit From Two-Phase Treatment? 

If Dr. Tewes recommends a two-phase treatment plan, you can expect your child to receive the following advantages from such an approach: 

Two Phase treatment can: 

  • Ensure the jaw develops with enough space for permanent teeth, particularly the canines.
  • It can minimize the risk of having permanent teeth pulled due to misplacement.
  • Many issues that would require surgery later in life are easily fixed during your child’s early development. 
  • Two-phase treatment is particularly effective at normalizing the relationship between the upper and lower jaw, especially in preventing the development of an underbite. 
  • Can fix prolonged sucking or improper swallowing problems.
  • Improper pressure often shifts teeth towards improper directions and/or alters the shape of the jawbone supporting the teeth.
  • It can fix the tendency of upper teeth to jut out too far, resulting in their likely injury due to accidents. 

Dr. Tewes can ensure that these issues and more don’t have time to take root if he determines that two-phase treatment is right for your child. 

What Will Our Treatment Look Like?  

Just like it sounds, two-phase treatment consists of a first and second phase. The phases proceed as follows: 

Phase One: Early Interceptive Treatment 

Phase One treatment is all about helping the jaw to grow in such a way as to ensure that it accommodates your child’s permanent teeth, as well as fostering proper development of the upper and lower jaw. Early childhood is the perfect time for Dr. Tewes to recognize the first signs of problematic jaw growth. If your child’s upper jaw grows too much or narrowly to the lower, he’ll catch it. Then, he can take the opportunity of early interceptive treatment to treat tooth crowding issues.

The planning of phase one can help lay down the best possible outcome for your child’s orthodontic care. Records are made during phase one to guide the course of treatment. Dr. Tewes can then decide the type of appliances to be used, the likely duration of treatment, and how often your child should come into the office. 

Resting Period

The resting phase is an essential period during which the permanent teeth can erupt without intervention. If the permanent teeth’ growth is misguided during this period, they may be impacted or badly misplaced. Often it is best to allow unrestricted eruption, giving the permanent teeth the necessary freedom to move about as they grow and develop. The initial work performed during the first phase will allow the permanents to come in their ideal configurations. 

So the resting period is about monitoring the progress of your child’s growing teeth and developing the best intervention plan during phase two. During the resting phase, Dr. Tewes may selectively remove certain baby teeth. Removing the baby teeth provides permanent teeth with proper space for eruption and development. During the resting period, you can expect to bring your child in roughly twice a year to keep things moving in the right direction. 

Benefits of Two-Phase Treatment

Phase Two: Appliances, specific interventions. 

In phase two, Dr. Tewes will take control to ensure that each tooth lines up correctly in the mouth and is in harmony with the other teeth, the jaws, lips, cheeks, and tongues.  

The second phase is the orthodontic treatment most of us are familiar with. That means braces or Invisalign aligners on both upper and lower sets of teeth. Phase one takes advantage of the planning and records made during the first phase of treatment. Phase one will conclude with your child’s usage of a retainer to keep their finely-crafted, healthy smile and jaw healthy! 

Call Today to Learn More! 

Pioneer Orthodontics is proud to be Lincoln and York’s one-stop smile shop! We love our patients and look forward to answering any questions you may have about two-phase orthodontic treatment or anything else! 

Give us a call at (402) 421-6900 in Lincoln or (402) 362-5360 in York, or skip the middleman by filling out this convenient online form now! Dr. Tewes and the whole Pioneer Orthodontics crew simply can’t wait to meet you!