What Happens at Your First Orthodontist Appointment

What Happens at Your First Orthodontist Appointment?

Going to the orthodontist can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if it’s your first time. You may be wondering what’s going to be happening during your visit.

At our office, here’s what you can expect:

As can be expected, there’s always going to be preliminary paperwork that will need to be taken care of first. There are a variety of ways this can be completed whether it’s on our website or by filling out forms that have been emailed and submitted online. You’ll be asked for standard information including your name, address, phone number, any insurance information, your health history, dental history, and a brief explanation of what you’re looking to accomplish with your treatment. If you’re under 18 years old, you’ll need to come with a legal guardian.

After the paperwork is out of your way, a member of our team will decide which treatment is best suited for you through acquiring diagnostic records. You’ll most likely have photos and x-rays taken. X-rays help us to see the health and positioning of your teeth, bone, root and jaws. The pictures will let us record where your teeth were at the beginning of treatment, and also help us to evaluate your lip posture and facial symmetry.

After this, we’ll have a chat and discuss any questions and concerns. We’ll examine your face, bite, lips, gum and teeth so we can best decide how to move forward. Our treatment coordinator will be taking notes throughout, and will communicate with your dentist about what we’ve observed and how to fix the issues we see. Finally, we’ll discuss all the possible routes that we can take in terms of treatment and recommend the one that is most appropriate for you.

There are various different treatment possibilities, and braces isn’t always one of them. If you don’t need them, we’ll let you know so you can go with an option that is quicker, easier and will produce the best results. There are situations in which you may not even benefit from orthodontic treatment, and the cost and risk associated with braces would outweigh the benefit of treatment.

Your time for braces may not even have come yet. If you still have baby teeth to lose, your 12-year molars are not in yet, or your treatment is dependent on your jaw growth and we need to continue observing this, are all scenarios in which you may not be ready for braces. In any of these situations, we’ll schedule you to come back, typically in the next six months however it can depend on the reason you’re visiting, so we can check back in on your development.

If you still need to have some routine dental work completed, or have some gum or bone issues that need to be addressed before treatment, then you will need to see another dentist before getting braces. In most cases, we’ll refer you back to your primary care dentist, however if the issue involves jaw size or impacted teeth, then you may need to see an oral surgeon. Gum problems will result in you being recommended to a periodontist, and if you have a need for a root canal, we’ll recommend you an endodontist. This teamwork will best set you up for orthodontic treatment.

If everything looks good, and in the most common scenario, you are ready for braces right away! Our treatment coordinators will work with you and your family to sort out all the necessary informed consent and arrange everything financially in a manner that best suits you. After all that, you are ready to get them on. You can choose to do so the same day as the exam, or schedule an appointment to return. Our team has worked at ensuring that the initial exam process is as convenient and smooth as possible for everyone. See you at your first appointment!

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