Your First Orthodontic Visit Explained

If you are thinking about getting braces or some other type of corrective treatment for yourself or a member of your family, it is likely you are wondering what your first trip to an orthodontist will entail. Many orthodontists offer first consultations free-of-charge and with no obligation for you to proceed with treatment. Very often, no referral is required. The following are tips on what to do during your first orthodontic visit.

Meet and Greet Your Orthodontist

From the outset, it is important to be able to put your trust in the professional who will be diagnosing and treating any issues that are preventing you from having a beautiful smile. An orthodontist differs from someone who practices general dentistry in that they undergo three years additional training after dental college, are specialists, and are expertly qualified to straighten and align a patient's teeth. These experts are able to diagnose, treat, and even prevent a number of tooth and facial issues that affect a patient's development, looks, health, and comfort levels.    

Initial Consultation and Oral Examination

At your first consultation, your teeth, jaw, and mouth will be thoroughly examined. It is likely the orthodontist will inquire if you feel any discomfort or difficulties in your mouth area such as popping, clicking, or pain in your jaw. They will also want to know if you have any issues when you swallow or chew.   

The orthodontist may conduct some extra tests to gain an understanding of your needs. They may, for instance, take x-rays or use 3D imaging technology to scan your mouth. These methods will help them diagnose any problems that need fixing and it will help them determine the most suitable course of treatment.

Deciding on a Treatment Plan

Once the condition of the patient's mouth, teeth, and jaw has been understood and any problem(s) diagnosed, the orthodontist can begin developing a potential treatment plan. In many cases, you will be offered a choice of different high-tech, modern-day treatments, and the orthodontist will help you select the best one. These treatments may include:

  • Clear braces. Most orthodontic practices will offer a range of clear braces of the advanced variety. Generally, braces are now more comfortable and effective than before thanks to technology and material advancements.
  • Invisalign. This is a new and revolutionary system where aligners are custom-made using 3D software. These aligners are virtually undetectable, a factor that makes them more appealing than traditional braces with all those metal brackets and wire.
  • Other corrective devices. Some orthodontists can offer more choices than braces and the Invisalign system. For example, there are space maintainers and palate expanders to think about, both of which can help to correct bad oral habits, rectify jaw misalignment problems, expand the upper jaw arch, or create space for permanent teeth to erupt. These options are usually offered to young patients to help with or correct developmental issues.

Treatment Costs will need to be discussed

How much orthodontic treatment costs will depend on the individual and will vary from one patient to the next. Cost usually depends on the type of treatment and the complexity of the case. You should get a personalized quote during your first consultation and your orthodontist will try and work out a flexible payment plant to suit your budget. Furthermore, any insurance cover you have will be considered. In some cases, you should be able to negotiate a manageable plan with your dentist office such as Crest Hill Family Dental.