Your First Orthodontist Visit
Our objective is to make sure your visits with us will be pleasant and informative. Your initial appointment will consist of an examination and a discussion of potential treatment options. This important visit will address the orthodontic needs of you or your child.
Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your first visit:
- Any x-rays (if applicable)
- A list of medications you are presently taking
- Your dental/orthodontic insurance card (This will allow us to help you process any claims and determine orthodontic benefits)
- Completed online or printed patient registration forms
Broken Appointments: If for some reason you cannot make it to your appointment, please contact our office. By doing so you allow another patient to use that time as well as reschedule your appointment. If it is after hours, leave your name and number and a brief message on our answering machine and we will return your call in the morning.
Diagnostic Records & Treatment Planning
If it is determined that treatment is indicated, you will be scheduled for diagnostic records. These records usually consist of a digital scan of your mouth, diagnostic photographs and orthodontic x-rays. Once these orthodontic records have been obtained, Dr. Hicken, Dr. Everett, Dr. O'Dell, Dr. Kauppi, Dr. Chartier, Dr. Padovano or Dr. Bolmgren will review them to either verify recommendations given at the initial exam, or to determine the best treatment plan for your orthodontic needs. For more complex cases, we recommend a second consultation appointment to review the records with your orthodontist and discuss possible treatment options.
Periodic visits are an important part of orthodontic treatment. Generally, we will want to see you every 8 weeks to check your progress and make adjustments to your braces or Invisalign treatment. During this time, you will need to keep appointments, follow instructions, eat nutritiously and practice good oral hygiene. Also continue to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
Once your treatment is complete, retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected!
Length of Treatment
An average orthodontic treatment lasts 18 months, yet the total time may be 6 to 30 months or longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation and the degree of movement needed.
Before any orthodontic treatment, your family dentist should make certain that all cavities have been treated and the health of your gums and underlying bone are free of periodontal disease.
In addition, if severe crowding or other problems require the removal of teeth, we will refer you to your family dentist or an oral surgeon for this procedure. Expenses associated with extractions are not included in the orthodontic fees. Your family dentist should also schedule cleaning and cavity checkup visits during your orthodontic care. We cannot stress enough the need to keep your regular visits with your family dentist. We are only an aid to your family dentist and not a replacement.