Orthodontic Treatment Phases

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Orthodontic Treatment Phases 

Orthodontic treatment for malocclusion typically occurs in two or three main stages:

Phase 1:  Planning

The goal of the first several visits is to determine an exact diagnosis and plan expedient treatment.  The orthodontic evaluation usually includes:

  • A complete dental and medical history review

  • Castings or bite impressions of the teeth

  • Panoramic x-rays of the jaws and teeth

  • Additional imaging of the face, teeth and jaw joints 

Phase 2:  Active Treatment

Once a specific diagnosis has been made, Dr. Day applies a device to realign the teeth, which is either fixed or removable.  The best known type of fixed device is traditional dental braces, which use brackets interconnected by an archwire.  Continual gentle pressure is applied on teeth by the gradual tightening of the archwire.  Regular orthodontic adjustments are necessary to continue the straightening process.

Removable devices include the ClearCorrect® system and headgear.  These devices should be worn for a specified number of hours each day.  The success of these removable appliances largely depends on the motivation of the wearer.  Dr. Day monitors and adjusts the device at regular appointments.

Phase 3:  Retention

When treatment is complete, the braces and appliances are removed.  Dr. Day then creates a retainer.  The retainer ensures that the teeth do not move back to their original positioning.  The retainer is worn for a specified number of hours each day to allow the bone to reform and stabilize the teeth in their new, correct alignment.


If you have questions or concerns about orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact our office at 517-393-8500.

Day Family Dental

Dr. Nathan Day, DMD • Dentist • Lansing, MI

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