Two Phase Treatment
Although permanent teeth develop continuously throughout the dental developmental process, primary teeth are lost and replaced by permanent teeth in two separate stages. There is a total of 20 primary teeth, with 8 lost during the initial stage, and 12 lost during the second stage. These two stages are commonly separated by a two-year quiet period when children are not losing or growing teeth.
Many children, typically ages 7-9, are good candidates for early orthodontic treatment. This interceptive stage of treatment commonly occurs near the end of the first stage of losing primary teeth, or in the quiet period between the two stages.
Following the completion of the early phase of treatment, the development of the remaining permanent teeth is closely monitored. Once the majority, or all of the permanent teeth have erupted a final evaluation can be made.
Most patients who go through an early phase of treatment will require a finishing phase of treatment to complete their care. This second phase of treatment typically involves the use of braces to address the remaining treatment needs.