If you’ve never had a child with braces before, it’s natural to wonder what to expect when exploring orthodontia and the different treatments available. Here is a basic description of the steps our patients take with their orthodontic care.
At the initial visit, we get to know the patient and family members, helping them get oriented to and acquainted with our office and practice philosophy. We then perform a thorough examination to determine if orthodontic treatment is needed. General questions regarding the fee and our payment options are discussed during the first appointment.
After the consultation, diagnostic records are an important step in orthodontic treatment. These records include photographs, x-rays and models of the teeth. The information gathered from these records helps us determine an appropriate course of treatment for the patient. We then prepare a treatment plan specifically designed to address the patient’s orthodontic needs and requests. There is no cost associated with either the orthodontic consultation or initial records appointments.
This appointment provides an opportunity for the patient and members of their family to meet with the doctor to discuss the proposed treatment plan. During this appointment, we finalize the financial agreement. This can either be a separate appointment or included in the Initial Placement of Appliance visit.
Initial Placement of Appliance(s)
This first appointment of active treatment usually requires one to two hours for placement of the appliance(s) and/or braces with time to review instructions for the care and cleaning of the appliance(s). Due to the length of this appointment, we generally schedule this appointment in the morning or early afternoon.
This phase of treatment includes monthly adjustment visits (for patients in Comprehensive Treatment) and appliance adjustment visits (for patients in Phase I Treatment). These visits usually occur every three to six weeks and are approximately 30 minutes long. Periodic progress reports and records will be taken throughout the active period of treatment to ensure a high standard of quality and adherence to the patient’s individualized treatment plan.
Removal of Appliance
The removal of orthodontic appliances usually takes about one hour. Instructions for retention appliances, such as a retainer, will be given at this appointment.
Patients will return to our office one month after the retention appliance has been delivered. After that appointment, visits will typically take place every two to four months. During the retention appointments, the retainer is examined, adjusted and corrected to ensure proper function. It is important that the patient follow the doctor’s instructions on wearing the retention appliance in order to prevent relapse.