If you or your child needs braces, a visit to the orthodontist for a consultation is the next step. At this time, the orthodontist will help you get prepared for the process of getting and taking care of braces so you will know what to expect. The following are some things you should know about your first consultation with an orthodontist for braces:
One of the first steps of an orthodontic consultation is doing all the paperwork necessary to become a patient in the practice. You will learn about insurance coverage and payment options as well.
Initial X-Rays and Examination
Once the patient goes into the treatment room, they will have some x-rays performed to look at the teeth in their current state. The doctor also wants to look at the alignment of the jaw and teeth. This information will help the orthodontist customize a treatment plan to get the teeth straight and the bite aligned.
After the x-rays, the orthodontist will examine the mouth. The patient will be asked to bite down so the doctor can tell where the bite currently is and what needs to be done to align it. The orthodontist may have the patient wear a mouth retractor type device to hold the teeth and mouth wide open to better see the teeth. Once the exam is over, the orthodontist will determine exactly what type of treatment is necessary to fix the teeth.
At this point, the orthodontist may take some pictures of the teeth in their current state to compare with the progress as the patient wears the braces.
Keep in mind that for some patients, the orthodontist may want you to wait to have orthodontic treatment. This is common for very young children whose bite is still developing as the permanent teeth erupt. You may have to come back within a year for another consultation.
After the consultation, the orthodontist will discuss their findings and ideas for treatment. The doctor will talk about the issues the patient is having, the different treatment options available, and the length of time the treatment will take. If there needs to be any additional work done to facilitate the treatment, such as the extraction of teeth, the doctor will discuss this as well.
Getting braces can be exciting, but it is a long process. The consultation for braces will provide you with all the information you need to fully understand how everything will work to help you decide how to move forward.