What happens at an orthodontic exam

10:17 AM, Nov 12, 2020

Perhaps your overbite needs to be fixed or your crooked teeth have bothered you for years, and it’s finally time to make an appointment with an orthodontist.

An orthodontist specializes in teeth movement and jaw alignment, so your teeth are beautiful and they fit together properly.

“We are here to help,” says Erika Dyer, lead treatment coordinator and marketing manager at SmileLife Orthodontics. “If you are self-conscious, don't worry. If people didn't have crooked teeth, I wouldn't have a job. So, we love your crooked teeth and the process of seeing you go from self-conscious to self-confident.”

As you prepare for your first appointment, here is what you can expect.

Medical and dental history

Your orthodontist will want to know about past medical conditions and surgeries, your dental health, and anything that may have impacted the growth of your teeth.

“We will want you to have a current dental exam and cleaning when you start,” Dyer says. “We want to know that the teeth and bone supporting the teeth are healthy before we get started.”

“Let your dentist know that you are planning to start orthodontic treatment,” Dyer says. “Some things, such as bridges and implants, can greatly limit the ability of the orthodontist to move the teeth into an ideal position. Other things like crowns and veneers should be done after, when possible, so that they will fit right when the teeth are in their final position.”

If you have any issues, your dentist and orthodontist can discuss your case to ensure dental and orthodontic treatments are done in an order that will result in the best outcome for your teeth.

Examination and imaging

After taking care of your medical and dental history, your orthodontist will examine your teeth, take pictures, x-rays, and get a 2-minute digital scan of your teeth.

Choosing a treatment plan

There are multiple ways to straighten teeth, so your orthodontist will consider which techniques are right for you, and then discuss the potential types of treatment, how long each will take, and what the result will be. Common options include braces or clear trays such as Invisalign.

The orthodontist “will go over everything with you and develop a treatment plan,” Dyer says. “Then, if you want to start, we fill out paperwork and you get your braces, or we scan you for your Invisalign trays.”

From there, you’ll make appointments for regular checkups with your orthodontist to continue toward your new smile.

For more information about orthodontic work and to schedule a free consultation, visit SmileLifeBraces.com.

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