Your first consultation with the orthodontist is probably one of the most important appointments you’ll have. Simply said, it prepares you for the road ahead. But all too often, whether it’s the parent of the patient or the actual patient, people don’t always know what’s in store during their first consultation. By having some general information, you can rest assured that your first visit goes as well as possible.
If you’re like a lot other patients, you probably found your orthodontist either through a referral from your dentist, or perhaps even thanks to an endorsement by a friend/family member. Whatever the case, your orthodontist will want to get to know your medical and dental history as soon as possible. By studying documents forwarded to them from your dental office, in addition to talking with you, they’ll be able to get a general sense of your dental background, in turn, helping them better prepare for the future of your teeth.
After thoroughly reviewing your dental history, your orthodontist will want to look at your pearly whites. They’ll inspect your teeth for issues like overbites/underbites and overcrowding to gain some idea on how they may proceed with treatment should they determine that braces are right for you. Once they’re done, they’ll likely take pictures of your teeth from a variety of angles.
During some consultations, an orthodontist may proceed to take x-rays or make molds. Or instead, choose to do this during your next visit. Once they’ve evaluated your teeth, they’ll provide you with their general course of strategy for helping you achieve straight teeth. You’ll likely receive some general care tips, in addition to getting a tentative timeframe for receiving future treatment.
The next and last part is the least fun – but critical, nonetheless. It’s probably one of the most common thoughts to cross peoples’ minds during the first phase of treatment – “Exactly how am I going to pay for braces?” Each orthodontist office is different, but thankfully most providers will allow you to make some form of initial payment then cover the remaining costs through a plan that extends over the course of the treatment (For more ideas on how to pay for treatment, view our blog post Braces on a Budget – Financial Planning).
After the visit is over, you can give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve just made your first step towards achieving a new and beautiful smile.