What to Expect
Your first visit to our orthodontic office is the initial consultation appointment. It's a chance for us to get acquainted, learn your chief concerns, obtain a general evaluation of your treatment needs through an exam, for you to learn about the treatments and services we offer, and to ask questions you may have. A big part of our job today is to determine what treatment is necessary to correct any problems we may find — and whether we should begin now, or wait until a later time, depending on the developmental stage of the teeth and jaws. Many times, we'll advise you to return for a periodic checkup, until we determine that it's the best time to start.
Discussing Your Treatment Options
Whether you're starting now or later, this is the best time to ask questions about the process. After a comprehensive examination, we can talk about available treatment choices, answer general questions about what to expect at the different stages of the process, and discuss any of the following:
- Can orthodontic treatment benefit me (or my child)?
- What general procedures will be used to correct the problem?
- Are any options available (or recommended) for my treatment?
- Should I get treatment now, or is it better to wait?
- Will tooth extraction(s) be necessary?
- How much does treatment cost? Are payment plans available?
- How long do you expect treatment should take?
When you leave our office, our goal is for you to have a better understanding of how we can help you get the best possible smile. So why not take the first step now — call us for a free consultation!
When treatment is accepted, we must take some diagnostic records. Our procedure starts by taking a set of specialized photographs of the teeth in their present state, a series of unique radiographic (X-ray) images. These enable us to see what's going on underneath the gums: the position and growth of bones and joints, and the teeth that are still below the gum line. We will also take an impression (mold) of the upper and lower teeth. This lets us make an exact replica of the bite, which helps us understand exactly what the problem is and how best to treat it. We will ask you (or your child) to bite down on some soft putty-like material for a few moments; then we'll remove it and make the models in our lab. Besides looking in the mouth, we may also ask questions, such as whether the jaws make noise when the mouth is opening or closing, or if there are any problems chewing or swallowing. Taken together, this information will allow us to make a proper diagnosis and finalize our treatment plan after that visit.
Case Presentation, Informed Consent and Separators
At this appointment we will discuss the problem list for you (or your child) which we collected from our initial exam, and orthodontic records. We will review the important oral problems related to your chief compliant and our diagnosis. Then we will outline our treatment goals, which direct our treatment plan. The treatment plan will be a step-by-step plan tailored to achieve those goals and constitute a “road map” to achieve the specific goals for our healthy and beautiful smile. The orthodontic consent form is a standard form generated by the American Association of Orthodontics specifically for the orthodontic patient. It is important to review this form completely to make one’s self aware of the risks involved with orthodontic therapy. Although good hygiene greatly reduces the possibility of negative events during treatment we strive to ensure each patient has a healthy dentition after active orthodontics. At this appointment we will also place separators when indicated on the posterior molars to create band space before the next appointment. Also known as “spacers” these small elastics bands will mildly open the contact between the posterior teeth and it is common this is accompanied by soreness which will lesson before the banding and bonding appointment.
Banding and Bonding
This appointment consists of the actual placement of your orthodontic appliances or braces. This appointment is the longest and usually takes 1 to 1.5 hours. We will clean the teeth, then place comfortable retractors to insure a dry field in the mouth. The brackets bond securely to the teeth when the teeth are clean and dry. Once the braces have been placed we will place the arch wires to begin the process of aligning the teeth!