February 15, 2017
It’s a common question I get as an Orthodontist. And as a parent, I understand how daunting it can be to face the time and expense of a two phase process.
So why is a two phase treatment sometimes used?
First some definitions are in order… In Orthodontics for children, there are two different phases of treatment. One is called Phase I, Early treatment, the other one is called Phase II, Comprehensive Treatment.
Most children do no require Phase I early treatment and will do well with just Phase II comprehensive treatment.
On the other hand, some children may have severe bite problems that may require Phase I treatment to intercept the bite issues. In these situations, we use Phase I Orthodontic techniques to correct the urgent issue which may irreversibly damage the teeth or gum if left alone. We also go in earlier if there is a need to facilitate favorable growth including when sleep apnea is a concern.
The two stage process may seem daunting but luckily, Phase I treatments are often short. And treatment times are optimized by limiting intervention to correct the most pressing problems then waiting until majority of the child’s dental and skeletal growth is complete before finish work is completed.
So how do I know if my child needs two phase treatment?
Your child’s Dentist can help detect problems as early as age 5-6. However, all children benefit from having an early evaluation by an Orthodontist. To help determine the best course of care for your child, we are happy to offer complimentary expert Orthodontic evaluation for your child.