Orthodontic Treatment Phases

For the most part orthodontic treatment is always going to be pretty predictable and it always is going to be successful no matter what your ailment is, and no matter how bad your malocclusion is the treatment in orthodontics is always a two or three phase procedure, which we will be talking about in this page.

First we’d like to just say that there really are so many great benefits to having your teeth realigned, and not only does it help with your confidence and give you a beautiful smile but it also helps prevent serious physical problems as well. The following problems are some of the irregularities that commonly occur within orthodontics:

  • Overbite — This is where the upper teeth jut out much further than the lower teeth and give you a toothy looking smile
  • Crossbite — This is when your smile is really misaligned and your jaw needs serious help in that some of your upper teeth protrude in a different way than your lower jaw and some don’t protrude as far as your lower bridge
  • Underbite — where your lower teeth come out further than your upper teeth.
  • Overcrowding — This is when your teeth are growing all over each other and competing for space within your mouth, and sometimes the teeth get rotated

The Phases of Orthodontic Treatment

There can be a whole variety of in terms of how long it can take to undergo an entire orthodontic treatment, and it is said to take anywhere from six to even thirty months to complete and so what we have done is just make a simply overview of the three main stages that over within orthodontic treatment.

Phase 1 — The Planning Stage

The first thing that will happen throughout this procedure is that an orthodontist will make sure that he is getting the best diagnosis that he or she can to the patient, and there are few things that happen in order for the orthodontist to get all of the right information that is necessary including:

  • Dental and medical evaluations — Because physical and dental issues go hand in hand for the most part that means that all types of issues within someone’s mouth could be caused by something that happened in the past, and so the goal of these evaluations in total is to make sure that the orthodontist knows all of the history of the patient before any type of treatment begins
  • Study model (bite impressions/castings) — A patient will bite down into a gel that will then harden around the patient’s teeth to essentially create the moldings that will be used for the doctor to further evaluate the issues in the patient’s mouth. This is done so the orthodontist can examine the position of each tooth without the patient being present and can further understand what is happening in the patient’s mouth.
  • Panoramic X-rays — This of course is a really great tool that allows for orthodontists to get an up close look at a patient’s mouth and dental cavity as well as the roots of each tooth.
  • Computer images — These images are really helpful at this stage in the orthodontist’s planning for the patient’s procedure because it allows for the orthodontist to get a better idea of how the braces will affect the patient’s symmetry and shape of his or her jaw
  • Photographs —  A lot of times an orthodontist likes to take up close pictures of each patient in the planning stage so that they can have before and after pictures to see the progression of the teeth as they align.

Phase 2 — The Active Phase

The planning phase is all a bunch of diagnostic tests to make sure that the orthodontist is properly planning for the active phase and actual treatment of the patient. This is when the orthodontist will assign either a fixed or removable orthodontic appliance to help safely readjust the patient’s teeth alignment, and of course the most common appliances are fixed braces but of course there are other options as well.

Removable braces are now a really great alternative to fixed braces, and this includes things like Invisalign and headgears and facemasks. These devices must be worn for a good amount of time each day and many times accompany fixed braces to make sure the process goes faster.

No matter what happens the orthodontist will regularly make adjustments to the patient just to make sure everything is working in its proper fashion, and so the patient will see the orthodontist regularly and of course get any repairs that are necessary right away.

Phase 3: The Retention Phase

This is when the procedure is pretty much done and the teeth are back to proper alignment and the orthodontist then makes a custom retainer for the patient to wear every night for a long period of time so that the teeth don’t begin to move back to where they shifted from and stay in the proper places. During this time the patient’s jawbone will start to form around the newly aligned teeth and solidify the stability of the alignment.