Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that encompasses jaw and facial changes as well as tooth straightening in young patients. The major advantage of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to achieve an ideal, healthy, functional, aesthetic, and stable result. In some cases, interceptive treatment when the patient is young prevents the need for adult tooth extractions or major jaw surgery.
Interceptive care is exactly that, intercepting a problem before it gets out of hand. Phase one treatment occurs at a younger age than conventional orthodontic care and is not typically as long. The idea is to shift teeth, manipulate growth, create space for unerupted teeth, break habits and prevent trauma before it’s too late. Children between the ages of 7 and 10 are best suited for this sort of treatment. After treatment, the child is monitored and the decision regarding the need for a second phase is made. Most children will require a second, more comprehensive phase of treatment once most of the adult teeth have erupted in order to create a completely stable bite. After the second phase of treatment, retainers will be worn in order to hold the teeth in the correct position.