Foley Wilde Orthodontics provides professional two-phase orthodontic treatments to patients in London, Ontario who may require specialized orthodontic treatment.
What is Two-phase Orthodontic Treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that takes advantage of a child’s growth in an effort to resolve physical, facial deficiencies as well as improve the alignment of teeth. A growing child’s jaw is flexible which makes it possible to correct problems without having to resort to jaw surgery.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit with the orthodontist by the time they are seven years old at the latest. By that age, their permanent teeth have started to emerge, and the orthodontist will be able to spot developing problems like crowding. Some of these conditions are due to jaw problems such as an abnormally narrow palate.
What if Two-phase Orthodontic Treatment is Put Off?
Putting off treatment only means that the child will need to undergo a more invasive procedure like surgery when they are older. They may also need to have some teeth extracted.
During Phase One, the orthodontist will work to make certain the jaws can accommodate all of the permanent teeth and will fit together properly. Orthodontic treatment can be used on a child as young as six to correct jaws that are too narrow or misaligned. Correcting crowded teeth in an eight-year-old could potentially prevent extraction of permanent teeth several years later.
The orthodontist can also correct various bite issues like underbites or crossbites during Phase One.
During the child’s first visit, the orthodontist will perform an orthodontic exam and take comprehensive records to keep track of the diagnoses, appointments, and appliances used. The records may include X-rays, photographs, and models of the child’s teeth.
The resting period is the period between the two phases. The orthodontic team will monitor the child’s teeth as most of their remaining permanent teeth continue to emerge. The third molars or wisdom teeth typically do not emerge until a patient is in their late teens or early twenties – well after the end of Phase Two.
The orthodontist will typically examine the child every six to nine months during the resting period to monitor the teeth’s progress.
During Phase Two, the orthodontic team will straighten any crooked or misaligned teeth. Phase Two thus involves braces of some type.
Phase Two begins when most of the permanent teeth, except the wisdom teeth, have erupted. It can thus start when the child is as young as eleven. The child will usually have to wear braces for roughly two years and then wear a retainer to keep their teeth in their proper position.
For more information about two-phase orthodontic treatment or to schedule a consultation, contact the team at Foley Wilde Orthodontics.