Phase I vs Phase II Vs Comprehensive

Orthodontic treatment for kids can oftentimes be necessary to be divided into two stages, called Phase I & Phase II or depending on the patients teeth can be done in one phase called Comprehensive Treatment. We ensure that each patient’s needs are carefully considered before any phase is recommended. 

So what exactly is the difference between Phase I, Phase II and Comprehensive Treatment? Let’s explore so you can see what could be part of your orthodontic care.

Phase I

Phase I Orthodontics is sometimes called “Interceptive” or “Early-Start” Orthodontics. It begins around 6-10 years old. This early intervention helps set the stage for healthier future dental development by correcting any emerging problems in jaw alignment and crowding. Early treatment can also potentially reduce or eliminate more extensive treatments later on down the road. 

The goal of Phase I is to create a better environment for the permanent teeth that are yet to come in. It also helps guide jaw growth and development so that future treatments will be more successful and predictable. Common treatments used during Phase I Orthodontics include palatal expanders, space maintainers, partial braces or Invisalign First.

Conditions where Phase I is necessary:

  • Severe crowding 
  • Jaw growth discrepancies 
  • Abnormal swallowing patterns/tongue thrusts
  • Protruding teeth 

Phase II

Phase II Orthodontics typically begins for a child once the adult teeth have erupted and between the age of 10 and 14 years old. Phase II treatment ensures teeth are properly aligned and the bite functions correctly. During this phase, any remaining problems with alignment or bite can be addressed by using full braces or other orthodontic appliances.

The treatments used during Phase II may include Invisalign Teen, full braces, fixed or removable retainers, rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances. During this phase of treatment, a patient will need regular checkups every 8-12 weeks so that progress can be monitored and adjustments made as required. 

Phase II Orthodontics is common for adolescents and children. Braces or Invisalign are usually the outcome at this stage. Some cases may necessitate an early intervention with Phase I Orthodontics for optimal results. While it isn’t always necessary, intricate conditions often require two phases to achieve desired outcomes.

Conditions where Phase II is necessary:

  • Overbite 
  • Underbite 
  • Crossbite 
  • Open bite 
  • Crowded teeth 
  • Deep bites 


Comprehensive orthodontic treatment is an effective way to receive the necessary care in one stage. Braces, Invisalign or Invisalign Teen are all available options to consider for comprehensive treatment. They can oftentimes take around 18-24 months on average for completion. Depending on the overall dental needs, and compared to two phases of treatment, this method proves just as successful, making it an excellent choice for patients looking to achieve their dental goals quicker.

However, it’s also important to note that not every situation will qualify for a comprehensive treatment option like this. Some patients need the two-phase treatment. All options are all exceptional options. It just depends on your case and what type of care is best for you.

Comprehensive isn’t recommended when: 

  • Crowding or spacing is severe.
  • Jaw discrepancies are present
  • Facial imbalance is evident

How Does an Orthodontist Choose Which Treatment is Best?

First, Dr. Delplanche will review your dental and medical history. They will examine the position of your teeth and jaws, take a 3D digital scan, as well as take x-rays to get a better look at the development of your teeth and your smile. Combining that information, they can then recommend which treatment will be the best option to achieve your desired results. 

Phase I vs Phase II Vs Comprehensive

Straighten Out Your Smile With Delplanche Orthodontics

No matter which phase or method of treatment you choose, one thing is certain– Delplanche Orthodontics can help give you a healthier and more beautiful smile! If you’re interested in learning more about how two-phase or comprehensive orthodontic treatments might be able to benefit you, contact us today for a free consultation! We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.