The Different Phases of an Orthodontic Treatment

In this video, Dr. Steven J. Hietanen discusses the two different phases (Phase I & Phase II) of having orthodontic treatment done on a child.

  • When parents bring their child to us for orthodontic treatment, we recommend a phase one orthodontic treatment. Such a treatment corrects problems in the structural relationships between the upper and lower jaws. It also tries to correct dysfunctions that might contribute to the malocclusion, or poorly-fitting teeth.
  • Once we’ve stabilized those structures and functional relationships, we take a break in orthodontic treatment. During this time, the orthodontist monitors the patient to ensure that the treatment is stable.
  • This interim time can be even more important than actual orthodontic treatment. This is when we watch for changes or reversion that can indicate underlying problems that need treatment.
  • A rest phase also offers the opportunity to pay very close attention to monitoring the patient’s growth and development, checking periodically to see whether the remaining permanent teeth are erupting into favorable positions.
  • Many patients who go through phase one orthodontic treatment require very limited orthodontics in the second phase. The second phase is the process of detailing or finishing the job started during the first phase.
  • We do not have complete control over the eruption of the permanent teeth, which may come into place with minor irregularities. So we recommend correction to improve aesthetics and alignment, and to improve or finalize the structural relationship between the upper and lower jaws.
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