Woman biting an apple

What happens at the first orthodontic appointment?

People who are considering getting orthodontic treatment might wonder exactly what it involves, and how to get started. For those who are unhappy with overcrowded, crooked or protruding teeth – or even gaps in the teeth; the first port of call is the dentist.

Those considering braces should talk to the dentist Meath about the concerns they have about their teeth, who will be able to advise on whether or not they think that orthodontic treatment would be appropriate for that individual.

If the dentist does believe that the patient would benefit from braces, he or she will refer them to a specialist. The specialist will make an initial appointment to ascertain what treatment will be needed, and will complete a series of steps in order to do this.

Physical examination

The specialist will conduct a physical examination of the mouth and teeth using a small mirror and measurement tool. In many cases, they will also take x-rays and/or photographs to get a complete view of the mouth and jaw and how the teeth are aligned.  It is also common to take moulds of the teeth, this allows for the tailoring of any treatment to the individual.

Ready for treatment

girl having her braces checked

If it has been decided that orthodontic treatment is the best option for the patient, the professional must them decide if the patient is ready to start. If the patient is a young person and still growing (and possibly doesn’t yet have all of their adult teeth), it may be concluded that a period of waiting must occur before treatment can be started.

The other factor that can delay the fitting of braces is the oral hygiene of the patient. Because this kind of treatment can make keeping the teeth clean more of a challenge, it is important that they are in good condition in the first place. If the patient’s oral hygiene is not of a high enough standard, the professional will delay treatment until this has been achieved.

Treatment plan

The treatment plan will be based on the results of the physical examination and any moulds or x-rays taken – but the wishes of the patient are also paramount. An experienced professional will explore the options and explain what is involved in any treatment, as well as answer any questions or queries. It is then up to the patient to decide whether or not to go ahead.

Expectations

Most patients do not get fitted with braces at the first appointment, instead, it is the start of a process and a relationship between them and the dental professional. Just like getting dental implants or any other kind of treatment, the dentist has a responsibility to give the patient a realistic idea of what they can expect in terms of the procedure and the results that can be achieved.

A good orthodontist makes a concerted effort to keep the patient informed, answer questions and ensure that they feel comfortable throughout treatment. The first appointment should be both informative and relaxed.

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