Your First Visit

Visiting the Orthodontist: What to Expect for Your First Visit

Whether you’re ready for braces or just wish to discuss your different orthodontic treatment options, our orthodontist is here to help. The first visit is an opportunity for our orthodontist to learn more about your treatment goals, reasons for seeking care, and long-term expectations. The following information will help you prepare for your first visit to our practice.

Expectations for Your First Visit to the Orthodontist

During your first visit at our practice, our orthodontist will perform a full orthodontic evaluation, including diagnostic exams. The diagnostic records from your first visit are vital to creating a customized treatment plan. These records include medical/dental history, a complete clinical examination, digital X-rays, and photos of patients face and smile. Following this evaluation, our orthodontist will create a written treatment plan and outline the different options available to you.

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    Our proposed treatment plans

    will incorporate both your personal goals, such as straight teeth or correcting an overbite, as well as our orthodontist’s diagnosis of your long-term orthodontic health needs.

While the scope of care is always up to our patient, our goal is to create a treatment program that effectively addresses all your orthodontic needs. Incomplete treatment or faulty diagnosis can lead to future orthodontic problems requiring additional care. With precise diagnosis and correct treatment, our orthodontist can help you achieve your dream smile.

Not every patient is a good candidate for orthodontic care. For example, depending on a patient’s age, orthodontic treatment may need to be delayed until appropriate skeletal growth or dental maturity occurs. If our orthodontist recommends delaying treatment, we will place your child on recall for future evaluations. For many patients, a period of six months to one year is sufficient for necessary dental maturity and skeletal growth.

We welcome payment from many different insurance companies and have multiple payment plan choices; our goal is to keep orthodontics care affordable and accessible for all.

As a prospective patient, our orthodontist understands that you may have many questions and concerns about orthodontic care, ranging from treatment duration to payment options. We encourage you to ask as many questions as necessary during your first visit. We want all of our patients to feel comfortable and confident with their treatment choices.

Your smile is special. Together, we can help make your smile even brighter.

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    As part of your treatment plan evaluation

    we will also present you with detailed financial information regarding the cost and payment options.

Common Orthodontic Problems

If your teeth or jaw structure do not properly fit together, orthodontic treatments, including braces, are an effective way to correct this misalignment. While orthodontics care can help straighten your teeth, our treatments go beyond basic smile correction. Orthodontics care can also help a number of more complex jaw alignment and bite problems including underbites, overcrowding, crossbites, overbites, open bites and midlines. Millions of Americans suffer from bite alignment problems and seek treatment each year to correct these concerns through orthodontics.

A class II bite is when the upper jaw is overgrown, the lower jaw is undergrown, or a combination of both exists. It is one of the more common bite problems and is most effectively and efficiently treated while an individual is in their growth spurt.

An class III underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending out in front of the upper jaw. This is most easily visualized when the lower front teeth are in front of the upper front teeth. Underbites often result in premature tooth wear and if untreated beyond growth may result in an increased likelihood of needing surgery to correct.

Spacing problems may result from missing teeth, proportionally small teeth, or tooth/jaw discrepancies. Any of these may result in a bite that is not aligned or functions improperly.

Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often appropriately be corrected by expansion, and many times tooth extractions can be avoided with timely intervention and management.

Excess overbite is present when upper front teeth cover up the lower front teeth excessively, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth risking gum tissue damage.

An openbite exists if the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. This often results in a compromise of proper chewing function or speech. An open bite is often the result of a thumb or finger sucking habit, and may have booth tooth and jaw effects.

Crossbite is when the upper and lower teeth are either too wide or too narrow relative to each other. Usually the problem manifests by upper teeth sitting incorrectly inside of the lower teeth. This may cause tooth premature tooth wear and functional jaw shifts that can result in misaligned jaw growth.

An impacted tooth is a permanent tooth that is not able to grow into it’s normal position. Impacted teeth can be caused by crowding, obstruction by other teeth or extra teeth, or simply by a tooth developing in the wrong direction. Although any permanent tooth can become impacted, the teeth most commonly involved are canines and lower molars. Impacted teeth generally require immediate attention because an impacted tooth may cause destruction of an adjacent permanent tooth root or may require surgical removal if untreated.

Understanding Bite & Spacing Problems

A misalignment of the teeth or incorrect bite is known as a malocclusion. Crooked teeth and bad bites not only can make an individual feel self-conscious, but also affect oral health. Without treatment, malocclusions may increase the risk for serious dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Gaps between teeth, abnormally positioned teeth and protruding front teeth can easily be corrected with orthodontic treatments. Proper jaw alignment is essential to supporting the health of a patient’s teeth and gums.

A jaw misalignment is one of the most common causes for orthodontic problems. Patients may have an underbite, an overbite, a crossbite or an open bite. With an underbite, the lower jaw extends out, which causes the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper teeth when a patient closes the jaw. An overbite is the opposite problem; the upper front teeth extend too far out over the lower front teeth. In some patients, the upper front teeth may even bite into the roof of the mouth. A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth sit just inside the lower front teeth. This can cause the degradation of teeth enamel. A crossbite in younger children can also lead to misaligned jaw growth.

Orthodontics treatments also correct teeth spacing and alignment problems. Upper front teeth protrusion is a common alignment problem. The upper teeth extend too far forward while the lower teeth do not extend far enough. The teeth may appear to “jet out” at an angle from the jaw. For some patients, overcrowding may be a contributing to this problem. Crowding occurs when the teeth do not have sufficient room in the jaw to grow into their proper position. Once they emerge from the gum, teeth are forced into an improper position due to the lack of space. If you are diagnosed with overcrowding, orthodontic expansion techniques may be able to create space within the jaw and avoid tooth removal. If jaw expansion is not an option, tooth removal may be necessary.

Excess spacing is the opposing of overcrowding. In this case, a patient has excess room in the jaw so there are gaps between the teeth. Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth. Orthodontics treatments can correct this aesthetic concern and close the extra gaps between the teeth.

Orthodontics treatments are a smart investment in your long-term oral health. To learn more about how our treatments can address your orthodontic concerns, schedule a diagnostic visit with our orthodontist today.

Make your dream smile a reality!

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