What Can You Expect From the First Orthodontist Appointment?
Many orthodontists begin with introductions to the staff and a tour of the office to help patients feel more comfortable. Generally, the first appointment's goal is to determine if treatment is needed and — if so — where to start. The orthodontist will direct your child to the dental chair and give a thorough examination. They will look at the position of the child's teeth and ask the child to bite down so they can observe how the top and bottom teeth come together to identify any malocclusions or irregularities in the bite. The orthodontist might also take photographs or x-rays to identify any internal problems with the jaw structure or teeth.
At this point, the orthodontist will determine if and what kind of treatment is needed. If your child needs a specific appliance — such as a retainer, braces, or expander — the staff will take an impression of their teeth. Before you leave, the orthodontist or staff member will walk you through each step of the treatment plan and answer the following questions:
- What is the orthodontic problem, and why is it important to fix it?
- What are the options to correct the problem?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the treatment take?
- How much will the treatment cost?
The staff member will review your insurance benefits and provide financing options and payment plans. The entire consultation usually takes between one to two hours.