If you’ve never been to an orthodontist before, relax and stay calm. The thing is, you’re not alone. You’ll soon discover that your first orthodontist treatment can be fun and exciting if you keep an open mind. Let us tell you a few things to note so we can clear your doubts and uncertainties about your first consultation.
Pre-appointment and arrival
An orthodontist is a type of dentist. As with other professional fields, you can’t always visit for treatment without an appointment. Most dental clinics have an option that allows you to book an appointment online or via call. The process includes filling out paperwork like your name, phone number, address, health and dental history, insurance, and an explanation of what you want to achieve with the treatment.
At the clinic, you should expect a warm welcome in a conducive environment. Orthodontists know that most first-time visitors are naturally anxious. As a result, they do all they can to make the atmosphere as relaxed as possible. After making you comfortable, the staff will assist you with filling out screen forms and other details you need to include.
Oral examination and imaging
After interacting with the team, the next step is to proceed with an oral examination and imaging tests. This step is crucial to determining if the orthodontist missed any dental issues that do not reflect in your records or that you are unaware of yourself. It covers dental molding, oral examination, x-rays, and photographs. Depending on the dental clinic, your examination may look something like this:
- After arriving at the office, you’ll need to stop at the brushing station to brush your teeth before the examination. Then, you’ll proceed to the records room.
- In the records room, an expert photographer will take different pictures of your teeth that will capture all your teeth and bite angles. It will also include photographs of your smile and overall facial profile and appearance so the orthodontist can determine how to improve your smile.
- After the first photo session, a team member will insert two cheek retractors into your mouth, one on each side, so the photographer can get a closer picture of your teeth and gums. The attendant will also insert a mirror into your mouth for clear photographs of the top and bottom of your teeth and mouth.
- After the photograph sessions, the team will lead you to an x-ray machine. The step is crucial to evaluate the development of your teeth, and jaws, and whether you are ready for orthodontic treatment or not. Note that they will dress you in an apron for this procedure and use machines with little radiation to prevent exposure.
After the examination
After the examination, your dentist will review your dental health and talk to you about any concerns. He will recommend whether to proceed with the treatment or not. If a child or teenager can’t proceed with the treatment at the moment, the dentist can defer the treatment until another time. Some issues that necessitate the postponement of treatment include poor oral health, gum diseases, or jaw injuries.
In this case, the clinic will inform you when it is time to come in for another appointment. During the break, you must follow recommendations to ensure that you can continue the treatment at the appointed period. The timeframe could range from a few months to a year. But if the condition does not require deferment, you can proceed with the treatment.
The most appropriate period to ask questions about your concerns is after the consultation. In fact, your orthodontist will ask questions if you don’t and will give you enough time to come up with yours. As mentioned above, the team will happily walk you through any concerns you may have.
Orthodontic treatments vary depending on the conditions you have. For example, the procedure for a dental implant is different from veneers and dental crowns. Some cases will require a single trip to the dental clinic, while some can take up to a year.
Let us use dental implants as an example. There are different types of dental implants, with different treatment duration. The typical treatment can require 3 trips to the dentist. However, same-day dental lets you complete and achieve the same results within a few minutes or hours. So, if you want, you can complete your treatment in a day instead of waiting weeks. In essence, the treatment determines the duration.
Still, on conditions, some dental cases require help outside your dentist’s office. For example, if you want porcelain veneers, your dentist will model your teeth and send them to a ceramicist. The professional will design your permanent veneer and return it to the dental clinic after three weeks. In the meantime, your dentist will create temporaries you can use until the permanent veneer is ready.
All these further stress the point that the type of treatment you need will determine the next course of action. Dental veneers require three trips to the clinic, while implants could take one or three trips. In contrast, dental brace treatment can last up to 3 years.
The treatment plan
Your orthodontist will schedule an appointment to discuss the treatment plan after explaining the peculiarities of your condition in case they could not do so during your first visit. The treatment plan will include the cost. Speaking of price, orthodontic treatments have different costs. Some are also covered by insurance. Therefore, your orthodontist will go over the various financial options to help you get the best experience.
Most patients don’t know what to expect from their first orthodontist treatment. Although the anxiety is expected, it does not have to be nerve-wracking. Do you want to know the secret? For that day, you are the VIP guest, and your orthodontist will do everything to make you feel so. So, stop procrastinating and call in to let us know how we can help you get the result you desire.