Two-Phase Treatment

a girl with braces smiles undergoes Houston orthodontic treatment programsWhat is the Advantage of Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses teeth straightening and physical, facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.

What if I Put Off Treatment?

The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.

First Phase Treatment: Your Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Teeth

The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An orthodontist can recognize an upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough at an early age. If an orthodontist identifies this jaw discrepancy in children after age 6, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.

Planning Now Can Save Your Smile Later

Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Early treatment can establish a good foundation, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth can erupt. We usually do no recommend retaining devices during this phase since they may interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while final eruption of teeth occurs. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

In other words, 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.

Second Phase Treatment: Stay Healthy and Look Attractive

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.

Movement & Retention

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and it usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. A retainer is worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.

Dentofacial Orthopedics

Dr. Yesenia Garcia specializes in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. While most people have heard of “orthodontics,” many have never heard of “dentofacial orthopedics.”

The American Dental Association sanctions nine dental specialties. One of the nine specialties is “orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.” The term “dentofacial” means “teeth” plus “face” while “ortho” means “straight” and “pedic” is from the Greek for “child.”

While orthodontics is the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development during childhood. In both cases, we frequently use appliances – the more familiar dental braces for orthodontics, and specialized appliances like headgear and expanders, depending on facial abnormalities. Sometimes orthopedic treatment precedes conventional braces, but we often accomplish both at the same time. So if your child gets braces and headgear, he or she is undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Dr. Garcia is skilled in both areas, so she is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.

Surgical Orthodontics in Pearland & Houston

While orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics (also known as orthognathic surgery) corrects jaw problems and improves your ability to chew, speak and breathe. It also improves facial appearance. In other words, surgical orthodontics straightens your jaw. Moving the jaws also moves the teeth, so Dr. Garcia applies dental braces in conjunction with jaw correction. This helps ensure that all teeth are in their proper position after surgery.

Who Needs Surgical Orthodontics?

Dr. Garcia may consider surgical orthodontic treatment for adult patients with improper bites and facial aesthetic concerns. Girls usually complete their jaw growth at age 16, while boys complete it at age 18. Presurgical tooth movements can begin one to two years prior to these ages.

We have found that true orthodontic emergencies are very rare. When they do occur, we can help. You should call the office when you experience severe jaw pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You can temporarily solve many problems yourself before scheduling an appointment with Dr. Garcia. You should know the names of the parts of your appliances so you can identify which part out of place or damaged. It is very important that you call us as soon as possible to schedule a repair. Using a damaged appliance for an extended period may result in disruption of your treatment plan.

Orthodontic Care You Can Count On

When you want quality orthodontic treatment in Shadow Creek, Missouri City, Pearland, Houston, Memorial, and surrounding areas, call G Orthodontics in Pearland at 713-677-2258 or in Houston at 832-847-6749. You can also use our convenient make an appointment form.