Phase One Treatment FAQ

What is phase one treatment?
Phase one is an interceptive orthodontic treatment approach designed for younger children who have both baby and permanent teeth present. The treatment is shorter than typical orthodontic treatment and is designed to correct functional issues with developing teeth or jaw alignment in order to prevent further problems from occurring.

What issues does phase one treatment correct?
Phase one treatment is designed to correct major functional problems with your child’s teeth and jaws, such as an overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, crowding, excessive wear, or protrusion.

How old does my child have to be for orthodontic treatment?
Children can be assessed for phase one orthodontic treatment as early as age 6 or 7, when their baby teeth are falling out and their permanent teeth are arriving consistently. Adirondack Orthodontics offers free consultations to review your child’s progress and assess if phase one orthodontic treatment is right for them.

Do I need a referral to begin phase one treatment?
No. In fact, children can be seen and observed for years before needing treatment.

How do I know if my child needs phase one orthodontic treatment?
If your child has noticeable misalignment with their teeth, including gaps or crowding, they may be a good candidate for phase one orthodontic treatment. Children who have habits that affect dental development, such as thumb sucking, often require interceptive treatment to prevent future problems. Consultations at Adirondack Orthodontics are free and quick; they typically take about 20 minutes. This will help you understand the treatment options for your child.

What happens if treatment is put off?
Delaying phase one orthodontic treatment can result in the need for more invasive and costly treatment at a later time. Misalignments and spacing issues will continue to progress and it will become more complicated to try and fix your child’s smile. Early treatment is the most effective way to achieve long-term results and a smile that will last a lifetime.

What kind of braces will my child need?
When developing a customized treatment plan, we work to get to know your child and determine what is best for their smile. Typically, Phase one treatment consists of braces or a similar orthodontic appliance.

How long does phase one treatment last?
Phase one treatment is abbreviated as compared to traditional treatment for adults. While every child is different, treatment plans typically last 10 to 14 months. We strive to ensure treatment is progressing properly with regularly scheduled appointments to review progress.

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
A two-phase approach maximizes the effectiveness of your child’s orthodontic treatment to help them achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. Phase two treatment will work to correct any issues with permanent teeth, though many of those issues will be mitigated through phase one treatment.

What happens after phase one treatment?
After phase one treatment is complete, your child will be fitted for a retainer that will help maintain the progress made during the treatment cycle. As the permanent teeth continue to come in, we will review their alignment and assess whether or not they should proceed with phase two treatment to ensure their permanent teeth are properly aligned.

What does phase two orthodontics entail?
Phase two orthodontics is what many would understand as traditional treatment. We focus on improving alignment and correcting spacing issues by placing orthodontic appliances such as braces or aligners on teeth. Phase two treatment is often, but not always, necessary; we tailor treatment plans to fit the needs of each individual patient.

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