What to Expect At Your First Orthodontic Visit

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Balhoff Orthodontics explains what patients should expect at their first orthodontic visit.

Every orthodontic journey starts in the same place – with a complimentary consultation. This visit is important because it will determine if you or your child could benefit from orthodontics and, if so, what treatment may be the best. 

When should you have your first orthodontic visit?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit at seven years old. Seven is an ideal time because children typically have a combination of baby teeth and some permanent teeth. It also allows the orthodontist to see how the jaws are growing. 

But don’t worry if your child is past that age – orthodontics can happen at any age. Nearly one in five orthodontic patients today is over the age of 21. So even if you never had orthodontics as a child but are interested now, there is still time.

What happens at the first appointment?

Several things happen at the first appointment. 

You’ll start by meeting the staff and getting a quick tour of the office. We believe that a good introduction is the key to beginning a good relationship, so we want you to feel comfortable and welcome in our office. 

Next, we’ll gather some basic information from you. We need to get medical and dental history so we have a complete picture of your overall health and your dental health.

Then we’ll begin the exam. We’ll take advanced imaging of your mouth, including 3-D scans and digital X-rays. These show us everything that is happening both above and below the surface. We’ll also do a physical exam. These pieces help us formulate a personalized treatment plan that will result in your ideal smile. 

When discussing treatment planning, we’ll talk about the options available. Many patients may have more than one type of treatment that could be used, such as standard braces or Invisalign. We’ll discuss your budget and outline expected results and treatment length.

One of the most important aspects of your initial visit is the question and answer time. We want you to feel comfortable with your decision, so we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Once you’ve decided on your treatment plan, our financial team will discuss financial obligations with you. We’ll review your insurance and discuss payment options that fit your budget. 

Can I get my braces on the same day as my initial consultation?

Yes – if you’re ready to begin treatment, we are happy to start right away. If you are not ready to start on that day, you’ll make an appointment to return.

How long does the first appointment take?

Our first appointments are usually one hour from start to finish unless you are also getting your braces at the first visit. 

Book your initial consultation today!

 

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