Phase I and Phase II Treatment
Sometimes the best results in growing children are achieved by breaking treatment up into two phases: often referred to as Phase I (early treatment) and Phase II (full treatment). Phase I is done when there are still multiple primary or “baby” teeth present. This phase may include limited braces to the front teeth along with other appliances that affect jaw development and make Phase II treatment easier later on. The goal of Phase I is usually to influence growth, create space for erupting teeth, and set the framework for an optimal result once it is time to begin Phase II. Phase I treatment often shortens the time a child will need to wear full braces in Phase II!
After Phase I is complete, there is a period of time when no treatment is occurring. This is a time when Dr. Long will be monitoring growth and tooth eruption. Once all of the permanent teeth erupt, Phase II (full treatment) begins. This phase includes braces on all of the teeth to finish alignment and optimize the bite.
The benefit of two-phase treatment is that it can maximize results. It is used to avoid more complicated orthodontic treatment that would be necessary if growth and tooth eruption were already complete. This may include permanent tooth extraction, tooth impaction, jaw surgery, and accepting a compromised bite or esthetic result..