An FAQ For Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatments

You want your child to have the best oral health in the world, including a straight and beautiful smile. Lately, you've been hearing a lot about two-phase orthodontic treatments and you're wondering how they could help your child. Here's what you need to know about this emerging orthodontic trend.

What Is Two-Phase Treatments?

Two-phase orthodontic treatments are just what the name suggests: a two-part treatment for teeth problems. It differs from one-phase treatments in that the first phase is done while the child still has their baby teeth. The second phase is then performed later in life after children already have most of their permanent teeth.

Why Do These Two Stages Exist?

The first phase of two-phase treatments is designed to correct small problems in a child's smile and to help adjust their teeth position into a healthier and more predictable arrangement. It is designed to catch and correct a variety of problems and to help prepare your child for more extensive treatments later.

Sometimes, this first treatment is all that is required to treat a child's smile. However, a second phase is often required for full correction. This includes the installation of braces and other headwear, usually when the child is a teen. The second phase is designed to move teeth into their final position.

What Are The Benefits?

Two-phase treatments have a variety of benefits over one-phase treatments that include:

  • Treating severe problems early (such as open bites, deep bites, crowding, and improper teeth sequencing)
  • Handling problems, such as thumb sucking, at an early age
  • Guiding the jaw's growth to promote better teeth spacing
  • Decreasing the risk of problems, such as protruding teeth and overbites
  • Shortening the time length of the second phase
  • Creating a better understanding of how the child's teeth are emerging

Are There Disadvantages

There are some disadvantages to the two-phase process. These include the following problems:

  • First-phase treatments are rarely enough to avoid future treatments
  • More visits are necessary, due to the length of the treatments
  • Treatment burnout is possible in many children
  • Effectiveness is often highly debated by many

The debate on the effectiveness of two-phase treatments is one that has very vocal proponents on both sides. Orthodontists are very enthusiastic about its potential, but many non-medical critics claim it is unnecessary. It's worth understanding this point before deciding on utilizing it.

With this information, you can decide if this treatment is right for you and your child's needs. It may not be necessary for all children, so make sure to talk to an orthodontist (such as one from Smiley Kids Dental) before committing to any treatment model.