Does my child need two-phase orthodontic treatment?
That's a great question! And, one that Dr. Chvatal can help you answer. Dr. Chvatal has 4 children of his own and two of them had 2-phase treatment and two did not. The two that did, were both thumb suckers who developed significant bite issues at young ages. If this wasn't corrected, it would have lead to bigger problems in the future with the need for much more complex orthodontic treatment. By correcting the problems early, it saved much more extended treatment in the future.
What's great is that Dr. Chvatal believes that every child is an individual and will help you understand what is best for YOUR child and not simply put them into treatment just because you came in for an exam.
If you feel like you've been told your child needs extensive treatment that seems excessive to you, give us a call and get a second opinion to help put your mind at ease in case there may be another option!
While Dr. Chvatal likes to delay treatment to the ideal time, 2-phase orthodontic treatment is sometimes necessary. It generates a lot of questions as to what it truly is and what we hope to accomplish. Here's a brief description of what 2-phase orthodontic treatment looks like.
Phase One (Limited braces, expander, correcting bite issues)
A Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles
The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment such as an expander or RPE with braces to align the front teeth. Also, if children around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can be used to create space for permanent teeth to come in ideally.
- Planning now can save your child's smile later
If indicated, children benefit tremendously from early-phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.
- Making records to determine your child's unique treatment
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During your child's initial consultation, the doctor will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may not be recommended if they would interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
- Monitoring the teeth's progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.
Phase Two (Full braces or Invisalign to make the perfect smile!)
Stay healthy and look attractive
Since all of the permanent teeth are in the mouth at this time, the goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces.
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan was established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaw. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.