What is a Two-Phase Treatment in Orthodontics?

The term two-phase orthodontic treatment refers to the fact that children complete two separate phases of treatment under the same orthodontist. The first phase takes place while the child still has baby teeth and the second phase occurs when the same child has most of his or her permanent teeth. Your child’s orthodontist at Zara Dental typically uses an oral appliance for the first phase and braces during the second phase.

Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children undergo an orthodontic evaluation at age seven? The main reason for this is that orthodontists can detect issues with emerging teeth and jaw development while the child still has primary teeth. If our orthodontist uncovers issues, your child could be a good candidate for two-phase orthodontic treatment.

Advantages and Facts About Two-Phase Treatment

One of the biggest advantages of two-phase orthodontic treatment is that it combines straightening your child’s teeth with physical changes occurring in the jaw and face. This approach takes advantage of the window of opportunity to improve oral health and the aesthetics of your child’s smile during natural development. We agree with the AAO that early treatment is optimal since delaying treatment could require more invasive orthodontic procedures later.

What to Expect During Phase One Treatment

When it comes to the phases of braces, the purpose of the first phase is to promote proper jaw growth. This is important because the jaws need to come together correctly for the permanent adult teeth to grow in as they should. Fortunately, our orthodontists have the training to recognize an upper jaw that’s too wide or too narrow at an early age. Prompt two-phase orthodontic treatment can reduce the likelihood of your child needing permanent teeth extracted later. The primary goals of the first phase of treatment include:

  • Preventing future orthodontic problems
  • Developing a treatment plan if potential issues identified
  • Guiding jawbone growth with an oral appliance
  • Allowing the child to chew and bite more effectively

The Resting Period Between Phases

Keep in mind that your child’s teeth will not be in their final position at the end of the first stage of treatment. Our orthodontist will determine a secondary treatment plan after your child’s teeth and jaws have rested and the remainder of the baby teeth fall out. It may be necessary to extract some baby teeth during the resting period. We will monitor this at each of your child’s regular dental appointments before moving onto the second phase.

Is Phase 2 Braces Necessary?

One of the most common questions parents have after learning about what takes place during the first phase of treatment is whether their child will require the second phase. The answer, of course, is that it depends on the severity of your child’s orthodontic issues and his or her treatment plan. We will share our recommendations and prepare an estimate of phase 1 vs. phase 2 orthodontics cost with you as early as possible.

Assuming your child does move onto the second phase of orthodontic treatment, these are the goals we aim to meet:

  • Promoting proper placement and cooperation of the teeth and jaws
  • Aligning the teeth to create a beautiful smile
  • Improving your child’s facial profile by positioning the teeth and jaws just right

Achieving the goals of the second phase requires your child to wear traditional or color braces in Houston. Your child’s orthodontist will follow the treatment plan developed after the first phase when placing braces. Most pre-teen or teenage patients wear braces for an average of 24 months. The placement of permanent retainers in Houston immediately following the removal of the wires and brackets of braces helps to ensure that the teeth remain in their new position. It also allows your child to keep the beautiful smile he or she worked so hard to achieve.

Stages of Change in Braces

Completing orthodontic treatment with a removable appliance and then with braces typically involves three phases. The first is the planning phase which consists of completing a medical and dental evaluation, taking impressions and X-rays, and generating computer images of how the positioning of teeth will change throughout treatment. Showing children what their teeth will look like at the end of orthodontic treatment can help motivate them to cooperate.

The second stage of braces is the active phase. This is when your child wears the braces and comes in regularly for monitoring and adjustments. The final phase of braces is the retention phase. This involves the removal of your son or daughter’s braces and the immediate placement of a temporary or permanent retainer. Your child will continue to report to our dental practice regularly for check-ups during the retention phase.

Affordable Braces in Houston

Parents understandably have concerns about how much two-stage orthodontic treatment will cost them. We would like you to know that we accept Delta insurance for braces as well as these other forms of dental insurance:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Guardian
  • Medicaid
  • Texas Chip
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • Many others

You are responsible to pay any amount not covered by your dental insurance provider. However, we at Zara Dental offer simple and convenient payment options as well as the opportunity to apply for financing through CareCredit. We accept cash and all major credit cards too. Our goal is always to make your child’s orthodontic treatment as convenient and affordable as possible.

Cost of Braces in Houston Texas

How much you pay for your child’s braces can depend on where you live and several other individual factors. The cost of braces in Houston Texas tends to be at about the midpoint when compared to how much braces cost on the east and west coasts of the country. Braces are typically the most expensive in places like New York and California and the least expensive in small rural communities. Although braces also tend to cost more in highly populated cities like Houston, we are proud of the prices we offer at Zara Dental.

Another major factor in determining how much braces cost in Houston Texas is how long your child must wear them and the type of braces you and your child prefer. With a minimum cost of approximately $3,000 and a maximum cost of around $7,000, traditional metal braces are the most inexpensive of all the types. Besides the lower cost, the advantage of choosing traditional metal braces is that they have straightened smiles for decades. You can trust them to do the same for your child.

Ceramic braces are the second-least expensive choice when it comes to orthodontic treatment, at least on the lower end of the cost spectrum. Ranging between $4,000 and $8,000, ceramic braces are as close to the same color as your child’s teeth as possible. This makes them less detectable by others and can help you son or daughter feel less self-conscious when wearing them. However, the wires of ceramic braces are just as visible as with traditional braces since they contain metal.

Invisalign is the brand name of a series of clear plastic aligners that your child wears instead of brackets and wires. The plastic mold covers the teeth and shifts them into the desired position. Your child will replace one Invisalign aligner with a new one approximately once every two weeks. Teenage and young adult patients tend to prefer Invisalign because the clearness of the aligners makes it difficult for others to know they’re receiving orthodontic treatment at all.

With a price ranging from $8,000 to $10,000, lingual braces are the costliest alternative for the second phase of orthodontic treatment. The term lingual means that our orthodontist installs the braces on the inside rather than the outside of the teeth. This option is especially popular among adults in professional careers who didn’t receive the orthodontic treatment they needed when younger.

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Where to Get Braces in Houston Texas

It’s never too early or too late to inquire about obtaining braces for your child. We invite you to contact Zara Dental to request a free consultation and initial X-rays today. By the end of this appointment, we can confidently let you know if your child is a good candidate for braces or for two-phase orthodontic treatment starting at an earlier age.

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