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  • Treatment Phases

  • One Phase or Two?

    Dr. Cash considers each patient he sees as if he or she were his own child. The same treatment he recommends for his son may not be the same treatment he recommends for his daughter. Each patient and his or her treatment is unique.

    For some, the best course of treatment involves early intervention followed by an additional treatment near adolescence; and for other patients, early intervention isn't necessary and treatment is completed in one stage at adolescence. EARLY DIAGNOSIS is the KEY to determining whether treatment will need to be conducted in one phase or two. If Dr. Cash is able to see patients by age 7 or 8, a greater number of treatment options are available. See more on how a child's age and growth can affect orthodontic treatment and also what about children who are older?

    When there is early intervention followed by additional treatment near adolescence, this is called Two Phase Treatment. There are very specific criteria that make patients candidates for Two Phase Treatment including severe crowding, harmful habits, or skeletal discrepancies.

    When treatment is completed all in one stage at the time of adolescence, it is called One Phase or Comprehensive Treatment. For patients who do not meet the criteria for Two Phase Treatment, but who still need orthodontics One Phase Treatment is provided.

    For more information see FAQ #5, what are the benefits of Early Treatment?

    One Phase Treatment | Full Comprehensive Orthodontics

    If Dr. Cash didn't have the opportunity to see a patient prior to adolescence, or if a patient didn't meet the criteria for Early Treatment, they are candidates for Full Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment.

    Full Treatment begins when all the permanent teeth are in, or nearly in.  It typically lasts for about two years.  In addition to braces on all the teeth there may be additional appliances such as the Rapid Palatal Expander or the Herbst.

    Once all the appliances are removed, the Retention period begins.

    Two Phase Treatment | Early Treatment

    Early Treatment is not possible if Dr. Cash sees a patient for the first time at age 11 or 12.  Early Diagnosis -- at age 7 or 8 -- is crucial.  Dr. Cash is very likely to recommend early intervention for patients who have one or more of the following problems:

    - severe crowding
    - harmful habits including thumb or finger sucking
    - skeletal discrepancies including crossbite or and overgrowth or undergrowth of one jaw
    - protrusion of the upper front teeth

    The goals of Early Treatment are to:

    - correct any skeletal discrepancies
    - alleviate crowding
    - align the upper and lower incisors (four front teeth on top and bottom)
    - correct harmful habits

    When these goals are accomplished, the jaws are aligned and the permanent teeth that are still developing have enough space in which to erupt. The retainer which follows Early Treatment assists in the Eruption Guidance of these teeth. Depending on patient compliance, as well as other factors, a second stage of treatment is often necessary after all the remaining permanent teeth come in.

    Early Treatment typically last for about one year and frequently includes a Rapid Palatal Expander and well as partial braces. The Eruption Guidance period which follows varies in length based on when Early Treatment was begun. Eruption Guidance ends when all the permanent teeth have come in.

    Finishing Treatment

    When all the permanent teeth have come in, they may or may not be aligned ideally. If there is misalignment, it is usually corrected with a short period -- about one year -- in full braces. Occasionally Finishing Treatment includes an appliance other than braces, like the Herbst for example, because it must be used with a strong growth spurt which usually occurs around adolscence.  After all appliances are removed, the Retention period begins.