When are Two Phases of Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

Usually patients in orthodontic treatment already have their permanent teeth – they are pre-teens, teens and adults. But in some cases, it will be beneficial to the patient to begin orthodontic treatment earlier, even before the patient’s permanent teeth completely erupt. We call this “Two-Phase Treatment.”

When we have patients with clear developmental problems at an early age, it’s best to start work when they are young, before the problems get bigger and more difficult to treat.
These examples include:

• An upper or lower jaw that is not growing correctly (over-bite/under-bite)
• A mouth growing in a way that doesn’t leave enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in (crowding)
• A severe malocclusion, or bad bite, which means the jaw doesn’t fit together correctly (cross-bite)

In these cases, we will start early treatment – phase I – while the patient still has their baby teeth. Phase I does not always involve braces, but will more than likely include a growth modification appliance that helps the jaw or palate grow into place. Dr. Varghese will follow up with your child every 4-6 months, until permanent teeth are in place. Generally, once all permanent teeth have erupted, phase II or comprehensive treatment will commence which involves the Damon System or Invisalign to align the teeth and correct the bite, or malocclusion.  The goal of Phase II treatment is to position all the permanent teeth to maximize their appearance and function.  Since critical bite issues were corrected  in Phase I Treatment, Phase II Treatment often eliminates extraction of permanent teeth and reduces the time spent in full braces. This is especially important for patients as they enter their teenage years!

In order to catch problems early, we recommend that children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven (and so does the American Association of Orthodontists). However, if your dentist or pediatrician see any sign that early treatment might be necessary, he or she may recommend your child visit Varghese Orthodontics even sooner.

All consultations are complimentary, please call our office in North Aurora at 630.907.9680 or our Huntley office at 847.961.5515.  Contact us!

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