Orthodontic Treatment Phases: How Long Will I Be in Braces? - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Orthodontic Treatment Phases: How Long Will I Be in Braces?

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sealants
November 18, 2016
5 Key Steps in Preventive Dentistry
December 4, 2016
Show all

orthodontic treatment phases


Orthodontic treatment phases and needs are a common discussion in the field of orthodontics today.  Will your child need one phase of treatment or two? The only way we can answer how many orthodontic treatment phases your child will need is with an in-office visit and comprehensive examination.  Orthodontic treatment phases have evolved over the years in so many different ways. Sometimes a child may need two orthodontic treatment phases, but every child is different. To give you a correct estimation of how many orthodontic treatment phases–i.e., how long your child will be in braces–we will first conduct a thorough evaluation of his/her oral health and then discuss with you our findings and options.  We work with you to help your child gain the results he/she desires with a method that is most convenient, appropriate and effective.


What You Need When You Need It

Although many orthodontists start orthodontic treatment phases with children when they only have a few adult teeth, studies have shown that only certain cases necessitate treatment this early on. Dr. T.C. Hardy practices a conservative approach to orthodontic treatment phases, to prevent your child from unnecessary dental work that takes your time and your resources prematurely. While it is important for children to have an early orthodontic assessment to look for serious dental concerns (around age 7), the majority of children will not require orthodontic treatment phases before age 11. Dr. Hardy prescribes treatment that is needed when it is needed. When it comes to orthodontic treatment, we want to offer you the best care and that also means the best timing for your care.


Timing Your Treatment

What is a two-phase treatment? Typically a two-phase approach to orthodontic treatment involves a 6-12 month active treatment phase followed by phase two which involves the finishing process as the final teeth erupt and move to their permanent position. The decision to begin treatment earlier relies on each specific case and skeletodental needs.  To avoid the costs associated with two-phases of treatment, Dr. Hardy only prescribes a two-phase approach if he really feels it is needed for oral health and smile success with the patient.  Some cases mandate commencing orthodontic treatment phases immediately. Crossbites, complicated malocclusions, excessive crowding can all require a two-phase approach. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, a goal of “early” orthodontic treatment phases is to correct existing or developing skeletal, dentoalveolar, and muscular imbalances to improve the orofacial environment before the permanent teeth eruption is complete.  Cases that are treated early can prevent children from more complex orthodontic treatment phases like permanent tooth extraction or orthognathic surgery.


What Conditions Necessitate Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontics treat a variety of issues with your mouth. Often, orthodontic treatment is working on multiple issues at once that are present. When reviewing the following conditions, take note if you notice that you have any of these conditions.  If you do, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics today for a free consultation.  Some of the most common issues that orthodontists use orthodontic treatment phases for are:

  • Misplaced midline.  When the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth.
  • Spacing.  Irregular gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or extra space in the mouth.
  • Crowding.  When teeth have settled in too closely together or there are too many teeth for your mouth to handle.
  • Overbite. Where the upper front teeth lie too far forward over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite.  Where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth sit too far back.
  • Crossbite.  When the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth–as they should–when biting together normally.
  • Open bite. When space exists between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when you bite down with your back teeth.  


Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment Phases

Don’t delay having your child examined for orthodontic treatment. Remember, the American Orthodontist Association recommends that all kids to see an orthodontist by the of age 7 years.  Diplomats of the American Board of Orthodontics have found the following five benefits for early orthodontic treatment phases:  

  • greater ability to modify growth
  • improved patient self-esteem and parental satisfaction,
  • better and more stable results,
  • later therapy required is less extensive;
  • reduced potential for tooth damage


Call for an Orthodontic Treatment Consultation Today!

Schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Hardy to discuss your orthodontic treatment phases and options and your smile goals to achieve your best experience with treatment. Our mission at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is to improve your smile in a timely and effective manner. We are dedicated to helping you obtain a healthy, functional, attractive smile. To learn more about our treatments or to schedule an appointment, call our Erie office today at 720-887-6003.