Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses jaw and facial changes and tooth straightening. The major advantage of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic and comfortable result that will remain stable. In some specific cases interceptive treatment prevents adult tooth extractions or major jaw surgery.
Interceptive care is exactly that, intercepting a problem before it gets out of hand. 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 is too late. Children between the ages of 7 and 10 are best suited for this sort of treatment. They are flexible, compliant and their growth potential is still at a maximum. Treatment usually lasts 4 to 12 months after which the child is monitored and the decision as to the need for a second phase is made. Most children will require a second, more comprehensive, phase of treatment in order to create a completely stable, functional and aesthetic occlusion.
Interceptive orthodontic care is one of the most rewarding treatment options that we offer to our patients. Our team believe there is a benefit to early treatment of certain orthodontic problems. The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend that an initial orthodontic evaluation should occur no later than age 7. We routinely see patients between the ages of 7-10 to monitor their growth and development; however we only intervene when absolutely necessary.
Second phase treatment begins once most of the adult teeth have erupted. This phase usually requires a period of time with braces on all of the teeth. The duration of treatment is dependant on the patient and their particular bite problem, and can range from 4 months to 2 years. After the second phase of treatment retainers will be worn in order to hold the teeth in the correct position and prevent the need for further orthodontic treatment later on in life.