Two-Phase Treatment

At North Coast Orthodontics in Capitola, CA, we are committed to providing comprehensive orthodontic care tailored to the unique needs of our patients. Two-phase treatment is a specialized orthodontic approach designed to address jaw alignment and dental issues in growing children. This method allows us to achieve optimal results by taking advantage of a child’s natural growth patterns.

Two-phase treatment involves two distinct periods of orthodontic work, separated by a rest period. This approach is particularly beneficial for children because it addresses and corrects issues at their most opportune times, often reducing the need for more invasive procedures later in life.

  • Phase One — The first phase of treatment focuses on jaw growth and alignment, ensuring that the upper and lower jaws fit together correctly. This phase often includes the use of expanders or partial braces and begins while the child still has most of their primary teeth. The goal is to correct jaw discrepancies, create space for incoming permanent teeth, and improve facial symmetry. By addressing these foundational issues early, Phase One sets the stage for a healthier oral environment and can often prevent more severe problems from developing.
  • Resting Period — After the completion of Phase One, there is a resting period during which no braces are worn. This allows the remaining permanent teeth to emerge naturally. During this time, the progress will be monitored, but the focus is on allowing the child’s mouth to grow and develop without intervention.
  • Phase Two — The second phase typically begins once most or all of the permanent teeth have arrived. This phase usually involves full traditional braces or Invisalign and is aimed at fine-tuning tooth alignment and ensuring each tooth is in the optimal position within the mouth. The duration of Phase Two can vary but is generally shorter and more efficient thanks to the groundwork laid during Phase One.

treatment my child

Is Two-phase treatment right for my child?

Two-phase treatment represents a proactive approach to orthodontic care, leveraging the natural growth processes of children to achieve optimal oral health and aesthetics. The decision to pursue two-phase treatment depends on various factors, including the nature and severity of your child’s orthodontic issues. At North Coast Orthodontics, we take a personalized approach to care. During your initial consultation, we’ll conduct a thorough evaluation of your child’s oral health and development to determine if two-phase treatment is the most effective approach for their needs.

Early Orthodontics

What is the difference between early orthodontic treatment and regular orthodontic treatment, and why might my child need early treatment? How will early treatment benefit my child in the long run?

These are just a few of the questions surrounding the topic of early orthodontic treatment for children. While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. By this age, most children will have a mix of baby and adult teeth, which makes it easier for Dr. Schabel or Dr. Chan to diagnose and correct certain tooth and jaw problems sooner without tooth extractions or surgery.

Early treatment allows us to:

  • Correct unfavorable growth of your child’s jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite or open bite
  • Allow permanent teeth to come into the correct position
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth that may not emerge on their own
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions in the future
  • Correct thumb-sucking or other habits and help improve minor speech problems

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child will need orthodontic treatment. Here are some common signs you can look for to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • Crowded front teeth at around age 7 or 8
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age 5, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Your child continues sucking his or her thumb after age 4
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner, or at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (crossbites)
  • Misplaced or blocked out teeth
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face

At North Coast Orthodontics, we are dedicated to guiding our young patients and their families through this comprehensive treatment process, ensuring a smooth journey towards a beautiful, healthy smile. If you believe your child could benefit from two-phase treatment, contact us today to request a consultation. Together, we can lay the foundation for a lifetime of smiles.

Airway Orthodontics

Airway Orthodontics

At North Coast Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive orthodontic care that goes beyond achieving beautiful smiles. A crucial aspect of our holistic approach to orthodontics is focusing on the airway — a specialty known as Airway Orthodontics. This innovative field of orthodontics plays a significant role in not only enhancing the aesthetics of your smile but also improving your overall health and well-being.

Airway Orthodontics is an advanced area of dental care that emphasizes the importance of maintaining an open, unobstructed airway. Misaligned teeth or jaws can lead to narrowed airways, contributing to breathing difficulties, sleep apnea, and other related health issues. By addressing these structural concerns, Airway Orthodontics aims to ensure optimal breathing, enhance sleep quality, and promote better health outcomes.

Research has established a connection between proper jaw alignment, unimpeded airflow, and overall health. Misalignments such as overbites, underbites, or crowded teeth can restrict the airway, leading to disrupted sleep patterns and decreased oxygen levels during sleep. These issues can have far-reaching effects on your health, including increased risk for cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and reduced cognitive function.

Benefits of Airway treatment

The benefits of Airway Orthodontics extend beyond straight teeth and a proper bite. Patients undergoing airway-focused treatment often experience:

  • Improved breathing both during the day and at night
  • Enhanced sleep quality, leading to better overall health and energy levels
  • Reduction in symptoms associated with sleep apnea and snoring
  • Improved facial development in children and adolescents
  • Decreased risk of developing certain health conditions related to obstructed airways

Airway Orthodontics can be beneficial for patients of all ages, from young children to adults. Early intervention in children can guide proper jaw development, potentially preventing the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment later in life. For adults, airway-focused orthodontic treatment can significantly improve quality of life by addressing issues that may have been affecting their health and sleep for years.

At North Coast Orthodontics, we’re committed to embracing the latest advancements in orthodontic care to ensure our patients receive the most effective and comprehensive treatment possible. Our team is specially trained in Airway Orthodontics and is here to guide you through the process, from initial consultation to final results. We believe in treating the whole patient, not just the teeth, and are dedicated to improving your health, confidence, and quality of life.

TMJTMD Treatment

TMJ/TMD Treatment

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), commonly referred to as TMJ after the temporomandibular joint involved, can be a source of significant discomfort and inconvenience, affecting your ability to speak, eat, and even sleep. At North Coast Orthodontics, we are dedicated to providing our patients with comprehensive care options for TMD/TMJ, focusing on relieving pain and improving joint function.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. Dysfunction or disorders of this joint can lead to pain and discomfort in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. Symptoms may include pain while chewing, a clicking or locking jaw, and even headaches or earaches.

Our approach to treating TMD/TMJ emphasizes non-invasive methods first, focusing on relieving pain and restoring normal jaw function. We tailor treatment plans to each patient’s specific needs, drawing from a range of therapeutic options, including:

  • Oral Appliances — Mouth guards or splints are often used to alleviate pressure on the joint, helping to reduce pain and prevent teeth grinding, which can exacerbate TMD symptoms.
  • Physical Therapy — Exercises designed to strengthen and stretch jaw muscles can improve mobility and relieve discomfort. Techniques such as ultrasound therapy may also be utilized to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
  • Stress Management — Since stress can contribute to clenching and grinding, which aggravate TMD, relaxation techniques and stress management strategies are often beneficial.
  • Behavioral Therapies — Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to help some patients manage the pain and discomfort associated with TMD by teaching strategies to cope with pain and modify behaviors that may worsen symptoms.

At North Coast Orthodontics, we understand that TMD/TMJ can significantly impact your quality of life. Our goal is to provide effective, personalized care to relieve your symptoms and address the root cause of your discomfort. With a focus on non-invasive treatments and a commitment to holistic patient care, we strive to improve your oral health and overall well-being.

Surgical Orthodontics

Surgical Orthodontics

Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, represents a significant step towards correcting severe cases of jaw misalignment and dental irregularities that cannot be resolved with braces or aligners alone. At North Coast Orthodontics, we are committed to providing comprehensive solutions for our patients, including access to state-of-the-art surgical orthodontics when necessary. This advanced treatment option is aimed at improving patient functionality, facial aesthetics, and overall quality of life.

Surgical orthodontics may be recommended for adults whose jaws have stopped growing, typically around the age of 16 for girls and 18 for boys. Ideal candidates for this treatment include those with improper bites, or malocclusions, and those with aesthetic concerns related to jaw irregularities that affect their facial profile. Conditions such as severe overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, as well as facial asymmetry or congenital abnormalities, might necessitate surgical intervention.

The process of surgical orthodontics

The process of surgical orthodontics is a collaborative effort between your orthodontist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It typically involves three key phases:

  1. Pre-Surgical Orthodontic Treatment — Before surgery, patients often undergo orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign for several months to a year. The goal during this phase is to align the teeth properly within each jaw, setting the stage for a successful surgical outcome.
  2. Orthognathic Surgery — The surgical phase aims to correct the jaw alignment, which can only be achieved through surgical means. This procedure is performed in a hospital setting by a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The specifics of the surgery depend on the individual’s needs but generally involve repositioning the jaws to improve their function and appearance. Despite the complexity, many patients report minimal discomfort and a relatively quick recovery period.
  3. Post-Surgical Orthodontic Treatment — After surgery, patients typically return to orthodontic care to fine-tune their bite and ensure the teeth remain in their optimal positions. This phase can last several months and is crucial for achieving the best possible functional and aesthetic results.

Surgical orthodontics can have a transformative impact on both the function and appearance of your smile. Beyond the obvious aesthetic improvements, patients often experience enhanced chewing, breathing, and speaking capabilities. Additionally, correcting jaw misalignments can alleviate pain associated with TMJ disorders and other jaw-related issues.

At North Coast Orthodontics, we understand that the prospect of surgical orthodontics can be daunting. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process, from initial consultation through surgery and post-operative care. We work closely with experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons to ensure you receive the highest quality care and achieve the best possible outcomes.

If you believe you may benefit from surgical orthodontics, or if you’ve been told in the past that your case is too complex for traditional orthodontic treatment, we invite you to contact our team. Together, we can explore your options and embark on a journey towards a healthier, more beautiful smile.


Pre-Surgical Orthodontics

At North Coast Orthodontics, we understand that the journey to a perfect smile sometimes requires more than traditional braces or aligners. For those with significant jaw misalignments or skeletal discrepancies, surgical orthodontics may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome. An essential component of this comprehensive treatment is pre-surgical orthodontics, a phase that prepares your teeth and jaws for the transformative changes that surgery will bring.

Pre-surgical orthodontics is the initial step in the surgical orthodontic process, focusing on preparing the teeth for orthognathic surgery. This phase involves using braces or aligners to move the teeth into better positions, ensuring they will align correctly once the jaw bones are repositioned during surgery.

The primary objectives of pre-surgical orthodontics include:

  • Leveling & Aligning Teeth — Ensuring the teeth are properly aligned within each dental arch for optimal function and aesthetics.
  • Decompensating The Teeth — This involves reversing any natural or previous orthodontic adjustments made to compensate for jaw misalignments, setting the stage for a successful surgical outcome.
  • Coordinating Dental Arches — Adjusting the size, shape, and alignment of the dental arches so they fit together seamlessly after surgery.

Undergoing pre-surgical orthodontic treatment is a crucial step in ensuring the success of orthognathic surgery. By carefully preparing the teeth and jaws, we can enhance the surgical results, leading to improved function, aesthetics, and overall oral health. This preparatory phase also allows for a smoother transition into the post-surgical phase, where minor adjustments refine the bite and finalize the alignment.

At North Coast Orthodontics, we are committed to providing personalized care tailored to meet the unique needs of each patient. Our experienced team works closely with oral and maxillofacial surgeons to ensure a seamless, integrated approach to surgical orthodontics. From the initial consultation through pre-surgical preparation and beyond, we are dedicated to guiding you through every step of your orthodontic journey.


Interdisciplinary Orthodontics

We understand that achieving optimal oral health and a beautiful smile often requires a collaborative approach. Interdisciplinary orthodontics is at the heart of our practice, where we combine the expertise of various dental and medical specialists to provide comprehensive care tailored to each patient’s unique needs. This holistic approach ensures that every aspect of your oral health is considered, leading to outcomes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally superior.

Interdisciplinary orthodontics brings together specialists from different areas of dentistry and medicine, such as periodontists, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and even ENT specialists, to address complex dental issues that cannot be solved by orthodontics alone. This collaborative effort is crucial for cases involving severe malocclusions, dental anomalies, periodontal disease, or those requiring surgical intervention.

a collaborative process

At North Coast Orthodontics, our interdisciplinary orthodontic treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation, during which we assess all aspects of your oral health. We then convene with our network of trusted specialists to develop a cohesive treatment plan. Throughout your orthodontic journey, our team maintains open communication with all involved specialists, ensuring that your care is seamlessly coordinated and optimized for the best possible outcomes.

Patients who can benefit from an interdisciplinary approach include those with:

  • Complex bite issues that require surgical correction
  • Severe periodontal disease needing the expertise of a periodontist
  • Missing teeth or significant dental wear requiring restorative procedures
  • Airway problems necessitating consultation with ENT specialists or sleep medicine experts

At North Coast Orthodontics, our commitment to providing exceptional care drives us to embrace the complexities and challenges of interdisciplinary orthodontics. We believe that this collaborative approach not only elevates the standard of care we provide but also empowers our patients to achieve their best possible oral health and aesthetic outcomes.

Common Appliances