Your first visit to our orthodontic office is an exciting time! It's a chance for us to get acquainted, and for you to learn about the treatments and services we offer. It all starts with the initial consultation.
You should plan to spend at least an hour with us the first time. That's to ensure that no one has to rush, and we have enough time to gather information we need to diagnose your malocclusion and provide you with a treatment plan; and also there will be plenty of time to answer any questions you may have. Also it would be best if all the decision makers for the treatment be present at this visit so everybody can have a chance to understand the proposed treatment and ask any questions they may have. You will meet one of our patient coordinators, who will take some information from you and give you a tour of the office. Then it's time for some diagnostic work and a clinical exam.
Let's Make a Plan
A big part of our job today is to determine what treatment is necessary to correct any problems we may find — and whether we should begin now, or wait until a later time. Our procedure starts by taking a set of regular photographs of the teeth in their present state. Next, we'll probably take a series of radiographic (X-ray) images. These enable Dr. Shadmand to see what's going on underneath the gums: the position and growth of bones and joints, and the teeth that are still below the gum line.
In some cases, we may also take an impression (mold or scan) of the teeth. This lets us make an exact replica of the bite, which helps us understand exactly what the problem is and how best to treat it.
After that, it's time for the exam. Dr. Shadmand will analyze the records and images, and perform a careful examination. Besides looking in the mouth, she may also ask questions, such as what is your main concern about your teeth and/or face, is there any habits such as thumb sucking or mouth breathing, whether the jaws make noise when the mouth is opening or closing, or if there are any problems chewing or swallowing. Taken together, this information will allow Dr. Shadmand to make a proper diagnosis and propose an initial treatment plan for you.
Discussing Your Treatment Options
Following the exam, we may tell you that things are just fine — or, we may recommend treatment. Treatment might begin soon or at a later time, depending on the developmental stage of the teeth and jaws. Many times, in the case of younger children we'll advise you to return for a periodic checkup, until it's the best time to start treatment. After Dr. Shadmand discussed the treatment plan and answered any question you may have about treatment, we will provide you with your treatment fees and payment plan options.
Whether you're starting now or later, this is the best time to ask questions about the process. We can talk about available treatment choices, answer general questions about what to expect at the different stages of the process, and discuss any of the following:
- Can orthodontic treatment benefit me (or my child)?
- What general procedures will be used to correct the problem?
- Are any options available (or recommended) for my treatment?
- Should I get treatment now, or is it better to wait?
- Will tooth extraction be necessary?
- How much does treatment cost? Are payment plans available?
- How long do you expect treatment should take?
When you leave our office, we think you'll have a better understanding of how we can help you get the best possible smile. So why not take the first step now — call us for a consultation!
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