Orthodontists today can successfully correct most problems regardless of the patient’s age. But that does not mean that the orthodontic treatment starting age does not matter. In fact, it may play a significant role in the total time and expenses required for the completion of the orthodontic treatment.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that involves facial and jaw changes along with straightening teeth. This process allows Dr. Dan Kelly to create a healthy functional smile with results that remain stable after treatment.
As a child grows, both the upper jaw and lower jaw will grow in three dimensions. This growth will decide the final positioning of the mid and lower face. Ideally, the upper jaw should have a more forward position and be a bit wider than the lower jaw. Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws will grow at different rates and create alignment issues between the upper and lower teeth. If a child's bite problems require intervention, Dr. Kelly can use a variety of appliances to change the rate, direction or amount of jaw growth.
How does Two-Phase Orthodontics work?
Two-phase orthodontics starts with interceptive treatment. Such treatment usually occurs between the ages of seven and ten in order to make more space for developing teeth, shift teeth, or manipulate growth. The goal of interceptive, or Phase I, treatment is to take advantage of growth potential and to catch an orthodontic problem before it gets out of hand. Addressing developmental concerns while the bones are growing gives Dr. Kelly the ability to avoid more invasive approaches in the future. Typically, this first phase of treatment will be short and will address a specific problem. Once phase one treatment is completed, your child will be monitored by Dr. Kelly until they are ready for phase two.
Once a majority of the adult teeth have erupted, the second phase can begin. This most commonly occurs at the age of 12 or 13. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve ideal alignment and bite relationships with all of the permanent teeth.
It is important to have your child evaluated by Dr. Kelly from an early age. Even if you think your child’s smile is perfect, early diagnosis and treatment can have a lasting improvement on the function of their teeth and their overall appearance.
Not every child requires Phase I treatment. Only some children with certain bite and alignment concerns require early intervention. If you are interested in learning more about Two-Phase Orthodontics, contact our St.Charles orthodontic office to schedule an initial consultation for your child.