Orthodontic treatment phases

Orthodontic treatment phases

Orthodontic treatment in phases

Orthodontic treatment can be carried out in a single comprehensive treatment phase or divided
into two separate treatment phases
with a maintenance phase between the two. The number of phases and duration of treatment depend on several factors and are therefore not the same for all patients. When an initial treatment phase is necessary, it usually takes place around 7-9 years of age and aims to correct specific problems using various types of devices. The orthodontist will explain the treatment options and will tell you the pros and cons of a two-phase treatment or a one-step comprehensive treatment.

Initial phase

This treatment phase usually lasts 12-18 months (around the age of 7-9 years) and a wide variety of appliances can be used to correct specific problems.

  • BRACKETS – Placed on the upper and sometimes lower permanent teeth
  • RAPID PALATAL EXPANSION APPLIANCE – Fixed appliance used to increase the width of the upper jaw (palate)
  • GROWTH STIMULATOR DEVICE – Fixed or removable device used to accelerate jaw growth
  • FACE MASK – Removable appliance used when the upper jaw is too far back
  • EXTRAORAL TRACTION – Removable appliance used to move the upper molars backwards

Maintenance phase

During the period between the first and second treatment phase, follow-up visits are usually between 8-12 months apart. The patient may have to wear a retainer during this phase.

Second phase (if necessary)

During the initial treatment phase, neither the orthodontist or the patient has control over the final position of all the permanent teeth, since most of them are still growing. If misalignments or other abnormalities are observed after the eruption of all permanent teeth, a new treatment phase may be necessary. At this time, the patient is informed of the costs associated with this second phase. This treatment phase usually takes place between the ages of 12-14 years and lasts between 12-26 months.

Comprehensive treatment

If it is advisable to wait, treatment is initiated when all permanent teeth have completed their eruption. Single-phase treatment normally takes 20-30 months, usually around the age of 12-14 years. The duration of treatment depends on several factors, including :

  • Severity of the problem
  • Patient cooperation
  • Patient’s age
  • Appointment attendance