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What To Expect During Your First Orthodontist Consultation

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AlignBar

February 29, 2024

What To Expect During Your First Orthodontist Consultation

The unknown triggers a mix of feelings in most of us. While some are curious about new experiences and actively seek them out, others feel apprehensive, anxious, or downright fearful. Trust us, we’ve been there! We’ve also worked with hundreds of patients visiting an orthodontist for the first time and have no idea what to expect. Whether you’re entirely new to orthodontics, thinking about changing doctors, or have an upcoming consultation with us, we’d like to give you some peace of mind about your Align Bar experience. Here’s what you can expect from a consultation with us.

A Warm Welcome & Medical History Questionnaire

We strive to make every patient feel like family. And that begins with a warm welcome. We're not doing our jobs if you don’t immediately feel comfortable.

Next, you’ll fill out some preliminary paperwork that tells us about your insurance and medical and dental history. This gives us an overview of your history—the last time you saw a dentist (or orthodontist), when you last had X-rays, digital scans, or other procedures.

Exam & Imaging

Next, your orthodontist will complete an oral exam to spot any trouble points that may not be reflected in your medical records, whether they be cavities, loose fillings, or anything else that must be attended to before having braces put in place. During this exam, the orthodontist may use tools to examine your gums and teeth, molding (a kind of dental putty) to mold your teeth, or take X-rays of your teeth and jaw. This painless process is similar to what you’ve likely experienced at most dental offices.

Customizing a Treatment Plan

Once the orthodontist reviews your medical records and completes the oral exam, they create a custom treatment plan. If you have any outstanding oral issues that need attention, you may need to schedule an appointment with your dentist before moving ahead with us.

The nature of the plan varies with the patient. However, it typically includes:

  • Potential treatment solutions, whether they be braces, aligners, retainers, space maintainers, or other alternatives
  • A timeline estimating how long it will likely take to achieve your perfect smile
  • Prep work, if necessary
  • And the expected outcome of the procedure

Questions

This is the perfect time to ask questions. If you’re unsure what to ask, the list below is a helpful starting point for the conversation.

While answers will vary with each patient, here are some general answers to give you a little insight:

  • How often will I have adjustments? Generally, patients undergo a four to 10-week adjustment plan.
  • Will there be any discomfort? That depends. Different braces use different amounts of force. Your orthodontist will be able to give you an accurate picture of what to expect based on your treatment plan.
  • Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed before placing braces? In most cases, no. However, some treatment plans may require extraction. Your orthodontist will be able to answer this question after your exam.
  • Can I whiten my teeth during treatment? In general, if you wish to have your teeth whitened, we recommend doing this before you begin your treatment plan with us.
  • Will my speech be affected? Many patients struggle with this initially but quickly learn to adjust. Please ask us for tips to help you adjust during the first month of treatment. We have plenty of advice!
  • Do I need to avoid certain foods? To keep your treatment plan on schedule, we suggest avoiding nuts, hard candy, crunchy bread and chips, gum, ice, corn on the cob, or anything that could damage your braces.

This is only a starting point. Please feel free and comfortable to ask as many questions as you can think of. We’re here to put your mind at ease and give you a clear picture of what to expect from your treatment plan.

Scheduling Your Appointment

After your consultation, our staff will review your insurance, discuss the next steps, and schedule your appointment if you’re ready. That’s it! It’s as simple as that.

Make Your First Impression Your Best Impression Yet!

Want to enjoy a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime? The orthodontists at Align Bar have over 40 years of collective experience and specialize in affordable clear liners, orthodontics, whitening, and preventative care. Schedule your free consultation today!

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