It can be both an exciting and nerve-racking time to begin orthodontic treatment. You may have just started thinking about the possibility of getting braces or are awaiting your first consultation.
Understanding what to expect from this consultation can be enough to set your mind at ease, so let’s dive into what to expect from this first meeting with your orthodontist and how your consultation will likely go.
First Steps on Your Orthodontic Journey
Both children and adults can get orthodontic treatment, whether that’s for perfecting your smile or working on jaw alignment. If you are paying for private orthodontic treatment then a referral from your dentist is not necessary, you can book an appointment directly with your chosen practice. If you are getting NHS treatment then usually, your dentist will refer you for a free NHS assessment consultation, however, in most cases, this is only available to children who need braces for dental health reasons.
Depending on how you access orthodontic treatment, the steps below may differ slightly, but your first orthodontic consultation should follow a similar path.
Your First Orthodontic Consultation
You’ve spoken with your dentist and gained a referral to an orthodontist, or you have decided to go private and have booked a consultation with your chosen orthodontist. The first thing your orthodontist will do is get to know you a little better.
Medical and Dental History Admin
It may be boring, but filling out medical and dental history is an important first step in gaining the right treatment. Your orthodontist will need to look through your entire dental records and determine when you last saw your dentist, when you last had an x-ray, and much more. This helps your orthodontist create your unique treatment plan.
Oral X-rays and Examination
The next step is to complete a thorough oral examination so that your orthodontist can check for any further issues that may have occurred since your last dentist's check-up. It’s important to do this in case of any cavities that need filling before your braces are fitted. Your orthodontist will use hand tools to check your teeth and gums, they may use dental putty to create a mould of your teeth and they will also complete dental imaging or x-rays.
X-rays are important to check if there are underlying problems with your teeth, gums, and jaw that can’t be picked up at the examination. Any issues found would need to be addressed before braces are fitted.
Creating Your Treatment Plan
Once your records and x-rays have been examined, your orthodontist will have a better understanding of your needs and will be able to put together your initial treatment plan. The treatment plan will include the following:
- Issues detected that need to be corrected by your dentist before braces are fitted.
- Which method of orthodontic treatment will work best for your specific needs.
- How long your treatment is likely to take.
Understanding Concerns and Asking Questions
At this point in your consultation, you will have been given enough information on your specific orthodontic treatment for you to start making informed decisions. This is the best time to ask questions about your treatment and raise any concerns you may have. Your orthodontist will give you adequate time to think about it and will be happy to talk through your concerns. You will also likely be given educational materials such as brochures that underline what has been talked about in the consultation. It is advisable to enter your consultation with a list of questions you may already have.
Discussing Payment Plans
The next step isn’t the most exciting, but it is undoubtedly important and that is discussing payment options. Orthodontic costs differ from person to person, as every treatment is specific, and the length and number of appointments needed are different also. Your orthodontist will have options for you if you are paying privately, as well as financing that could be available to you.
Arranging Your First Appointment
The last step in your consultation is arranging your first appointment. If no further work needs to be completed by your dentist beforehand, then you will be able to schedule your appointment directly after your consultation. When planning the best date, it is important to keep in mind that appointments can take between 30 to 90 minutes for fitting so it's important to plan accordingly and be prepared.
Speak with a Specialist at our Highly Experienced Orthodontist in Oldham
It is important to fully understand what to expect from your first orthodontic consultation, for you to plan your treatment and costs. We are a highly experienced orthodontist in Oldham, with specialist knowledge to enable us to help and support adults and children in making informed decisions about their oral health.
We understand this is a big step in anyone's life and that it can be a daunting undertaking, that’s why we strive to make your orthodontic journey as comfortable as possible. Oldham Orthodontics delivers the best quality orthodontic care in a comfortable and friendly environment.
At Oldham Orthodontics we treat a wide variety of patients from children aged under 18 who qualify for NHS orthodontic treatment, to adults requesting invisible and virtually invisible braces. We will endeavour to help create your perfect smile whatever your needs and budget.
Contact us today to book a free consultation.