First and Second Phase Orthodontic Treatment – The Basics of Orthodontia
Although, the ultimate goal of any orthodontic treatment is to enhance the appearance of your smile and to ensure that teeth are in proper alignment, there are smaller milestones that take place along the way. Orthodontic treatment can be broken down into two “phases”: First and Second.
The first phase is typically performed on children with the primary goal to help prepare the child’s jaw to make room for the eruption of permanent teeth that haven’t grown in yet. Children sometimes can show early signs of jaw problems as they develop. A jaw that is growing too quickly or too slowly can certainly benefit from this early orthodontic intervention.
In order to preserve the results of first phase treatment and also to allow the remaining permanent teeth to erupt properly, retainers must be worn at night. The benefits of this first phase include the ability to reduce the need for future jaw surgery or tooth extraction. It also helps develop proper speech patterns which is helpful for children. During this phase regular follow-up examinations and adjustments to retainers will be required.
The difference between first and second phase orthodontic treatment is that the goal of second phase of treatment is to properly position the permanent teeth in order to maximize their overall appearance and functionality. This is best accomplished by placing orthodontic braces on the patient’s upper and lower teeth. Because of all the improvements made during the first phase of treatment, the second phase of orthodontic treatment will require less patient involvement and often eliminates the need to remove any of the permanent teeth which can greatly reduce the time spent in full braces.
To learn more about the differences between first and second phase orthodontic treatment and whether or not your child is a suitable candidate, you must visit your dentist for an initial examination. Orthodontics can be performed at any age, on any patient, but the key is to find the proper treatment course that will provide the best results for you or your family.