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Orthodontics: What to Expect at the First Visit

In the 21st century, more men, women and children are seeking cosmetic dentistry as well as services from an orthodontist than at any other time in history. With this in mind, if you are contemplating cosmetic dentistry or if you are planning a trip to the orthodontist, you may be wondering what in the world to expect on your first visit to the orthodontist for cosmetic dentistry related purposes.

The Fear of that First Trip

Many people are afraid of the dentist, but a first trip to the orthodontist can cause extreme anxiety as well. This can be particularly stressful if the patient does not know what to expect. There are some standard practices that a patient can expect during an initial visit to an orthodontist. This first visit is typically an initial evaluation to determine the future course of treatment and to decide the direction to take the treatment, whether it would be braces or some other therapy.

Plan on a Thorough Examination

The first orthodontic appointment will consist of a thorough examination. Potential treatment options will also be discussed. The child will be evaluated and it will be determined if the problem can be corrected by orthodontics. The timeliness of the treatment will also be determined, whether treatment should be delayed for growth, tooth loss or eruption or other factors, including if any permanent teeth need to be removed. Treatment options will also be discussed during this important visit as well as length of treatment, cost and payment options.

A Close Up Look at Different Orthodontic Appliances -- A First Hand Viewing

The orthodontist may use this visit to give the patient a visual representation of each orthodontic appliance. This will show the patient what methods are available and how viable they are for the individual. It will also give an indication to the patient how their treatment will progress. They will have the opportunity to not only see each appliance and treatment option, but ask important questions as well.

X-rays are Important ... Developing a Comprehensive Plan and Procedure

When the patient attends the first appointment, he or she should bring along any X-rays taken within the previous six months. Dental records may also either be brought along or the dentistís office may fax them to the orthodontist. This will show a dental history and any impending problems. If the patient has dental insurance or a dental discount plan, it is important to bring the necessary information, cards and/or forms. This will allow the office to assess the plan and determine the true cost based on the insurance or discount and get the claim started. Finally, the patient should bring any information on their own health or family health history to give the orthodontist a complete picture of the patient so that he or she can determine the best course of treatment.

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