Comprehensive orthodontic treatment, unlike two-phase orthodontics, is completed in just one stage. This type of treatment is commonly known as “conventional” orthodontic treatment and typically lasts 18-24 months. The treatments used in this type of treatment are traditional ones: braces, metal or ceramic, “tooth-colored” braces, Invisalign or Invisalign Teen.
We effectively reach the same goals as two-phase treatment by straightening teeth alignment and correcting jaw alignment.
The most notable difference between the two treatment styles is when treatment starts. Two-phase treatment starts during the childhood or pre-teen years, whereas comprehensive orthodontics begins during the teenage or even adult years. This type of treatment and this age group are by far the most common types of treatment cases, comprising the majority of orthodontic patients year after year. There are a few specific reasons why this conventional approach is the most common.
First, the teenage years are ideal for having braces. Assuming there was no need to undergo tho-phase treatment, the teenage years mark a stage when most, or all, adult teeth have erupted into place. Second, the body and the jawbones are growing rapidly. As your trusted Barrington, Bristol and Portsmouch, RI orthodontist, Dr. Jaffe knows how to work with natural bone growth and changes to align teeth, create a healthy bite and produce the best orthodontic results.
Lastly, and most importantly, is the social aspect of wearing braces. Let’s not forget that being a teenager has a very unique set of stressors and peer pressure. However, this time in life, many kids are wearing braces, so it’s almost viewed as normal to have them. Wearing braces during this time won’t alienate a teen or make them feel different, in fact, they be in the same position as many of their friends, making it a perfect bonding point with friends. There isn’t the need to feel self-conscious or socially awkward. They can share advice and experiences about having braces together!
Now that we’ve explored some of the main differences that distinguish two-phase orthodontics from conventional treatment, what is the best course of action?
Make no mistake, Dr. Jaffe is in agreement with the American Association of Orthodontists, who recommend that every child have an orthodontic evaluation by age seven, as problems can present themselves at this early age. However, if your child is evaluated at age seven, and Dr. Jaffe sees no pressing reason to diagnose and treat at that time, he will recommend waiting till the teen years.
There have been tremendous advances in orthodontic technology in recent years. Treatments are faster, less painful and extremely versatile. All that being said, adults don’t have that benefit of growth on their side. Adult’s bone growth is mostly finalized, so all the benefits of growth modification that come along with treating teens is obsolete. Adults can still achieve amazing results with orthodontic treatments like braces and Invisalign, but it is always more advantageous to undergo treatment during teenage years.
If you are a parent of a teen or an adult considering orthodontic treatment for yourself, contact Dr. Jaffe’s office today. Our staff will be able to help answer any questions or even schedule your first appointment. It’s our mission to create healthy, beautiful smiles for life.