Your First Visit to the Orthodontist- Your first visit to our orthodontic office is an exciting time! It’s a chance for us to get acquainted, and for you to learn about the treatments and services we offer. When you walk in the door, you may notice that our office looks similar to your regular dentist’s office; what we do here, however, is a little different. It all starts with the initial consultation.
You should plan to spend at least an hour with us the first time. That’s to ensure that no one has to rush, and that you get plenty of time to ask any questions you may have. You will meet one of our receptionists or patient coordinators, who will take some information from you and bring you through the office. Then it’s time for some diagnostic work and an exam.
Planning your Treatment – 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. Our procedure starts by taking a set of regular photographs of the teeth in their present state. Next, we’ll probably take a series of 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.
In some cases, we may also take an impression (mold) of the 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. If we need to do this, 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 mold in our lab.
After that, it’s time for the exam. We will look at the records and images, and perform a careful examination. 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 at the first visit.