Two-phase treatment occurs when a patient has one of a few specific orthodontic problems such as a jaw growth discrepancy or a functional bite problem. These patients may benefit from an initial phase of treatment, followed later on in adolescence by a second phase of treatment.
The first phase of treatment, Phase One, usually occurs when the patient is a child and still has some of his or her primary teeth. A variety of orthodontic appliances may be used to prevent a problem from occurring, to correct a current problem or to help direct jawbone growth.
When indicated, the second phase of treatment is similar to conventional comprehensive orthodontic treatment. This involves placing braces on the patient when they are entering their adolescent growth window and permanent teeth have erupted. The braces straighten the permanent teeth and correct any remaining bite problems.
Although two phases of treatment is occasionally an appropriate treatment approach, research shows that most patients do not benefit from receiving two separate phases of treatment. Rather, a single appropriately timed phase of treatment is usually the most efficient and cost-effective approach to orthodontic care. For this reason, Dr. Pollei will only recommend a two phase approach to treatment if a significant advantage in the long-term outcome may be achieved through early intervention that would not be likely if the patient were to wait until to be treated at a later time.