What to Expect on Your First Visit To The Orthodontist

First off, no worries, no rush.  Nothing’s going to hurt on your first visit.  And you won’t be making any big decisions until after the evaluation and the orthodontist has discussed treatment options with you and answered all your questions.

Orthodontics refers to treating misalignment, poor spacing, and other irregularities in teeth.  Those treatments may be purely for looks, but beyond an attractive smile they often address avoiding or correcting issues affecting tooth, gum, and jaw health.  Orthodontics are appropriate, and effective, for adults as well as for teens and children.

On your first visit to our office we’ll get to know one another.  We’ll evaluate your situation and discuss any recommended treatments.  Let’s go into more detail on what to expect on that first visit.

Your First Appointment

Everything starts with an orthodontic evaluation and initial consultation. The purpose is to identify any problems and determine the best treatment given your personal priorities.  Our office looks largely the same as any dentist’s office, but we focus on straightening and properly spacing teeth for a winning smile, comfortable biting and chewing, and avoiding unnecessary wear and cavities.  We often treat jaw issues, including TMJ pain.

Please arrive at least a half hour before your appointment so that we can review your dental and medical history and so you’ll have plenty of time for questions.  You can expect the sequence below.

  1. We may start with photographs as part of documenting the evaluation, and as a baseline to show progress.
  2. A technician will take x-rays.  That lets your orthodontist see past gums and into jaws and joints to better identify both medical and aesthetic issues.
  3. We may take mold (impression) as an easy to view “3-d image.”  That involves you biting down on some soft putty for a couple of minutes.
  4. Your orthodontist will examine all results as well as ask about any jaw sounds, difficulties chewing or swallowing, and so on.
  5. We’ll wrap up the initial consultation by discussing treatment options and answering any new questions you might have.

It may be possible to begin treatment at the same visit, or you may wait for a later date. In some cases the orthodontist may need extra time to study your case, and will schedule a second visit to discuss their conclusions.  As your treatment continues, we’ll discuss progress and any concerns you might have.  We’re with you all the way with personalized care.

For Kids and Teens

When it’s time to visit the orthodontist, you’re probable dreading it.  But it doesn’t really hurt, and don’t forget the long term benefits of a great smile when it comes to making friends and getting on with life.  Besides, if you need treatment, that’s not always braces.

It’s a good idea to see an orthodontist soon after your permanent teeth are in, usually while you’re in the first grade.  That’s to spot any problems or issues early on.  Early treatment avoids more problems and is quicker and easier.  Most people are just fine and don’t need any follow-up for many years.

Whenever there’s a problem there’s usually several possibilities for dealing it.  Besides braces there are retainers and removable hard-to-see trays.  As for braces you would have choices such as colored elastics, and new designs are more comfortable and less noticeable.  We’re happy to schedule orthodontic treatments for after school, so there’s no excuses 😉

TIP:  Did you know that with straight properly spaced teeth you’re less likely to develop a cavity that needs filling?

NOTE:  As long as your teeth, gums, and jaws are healthy there’s absolutely no drilling.  There may be a little soreness the first few days but some aspirin or Tylenol and avoiding hard foods will take care of that.

Any Questions?

Just give us a call! Whether that’s what to expect on your first visit in general or any particular concerns, we’re here for you and your whole family.

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