The consultation appointment
The consultation appointment consists of a thorough clinical examination followed by a comprehensive discussion. our Doctor and his staff are compassionate and sensitive to the anxiety that some children and adults have before their consultation appointments. They are nervous and more concerned that they experience pain during the examination. Often people are just “scared that it’s going to hurt.” Since people may never have been seen in an orthodontist’s office, their only reference is their experience with a dentist. At the dentist’s office they may have received injections with needles to have a cavity removed with a drill. For orthodontic examination, no needles or drills are used. The examination does not hurt; the examination is absolutely painless.
Our doctor is interested in learning the reason or reasons why orthodontic treatment is being considered. For example, some adults have said, “I don’t like the way my teeth look.” Or others may say, “I’ve noticed over the years that my teeth have shifted.” For others, they may have lost a tooth and their dentist suggests straightening their teeth before an implant can be put in. This is referred to as the chief complaint. Any relevant background information is also helpful. For example, “I had braces as a child, but I didn’t wear my retainers” or “My teeth started to shift before my wisdom teeth were taken out” or “I grind my teeth at night.”
For most children, their dentist or pedodontist has observed a problem with the bite or a problem with erupting adult teeth and has recommended an orthodontic consultation. For example, a parent may be told that there is a problem with the back teeth, like a crossbite or that there is not enough room for an erupting adult tooth; or that there is a problem with the front teeth, like an open bite, commonly due to a thumb-sucking habit. These are common problems that occur in younger children who have a combination of baby or primary teeth and adult or permanent teeth.
our Doctor, just like the dentist, will look at your teeth. But as an orthodontist, our Doctor also looks closely at the shape of your face, especially at your profile. our Doctor believes that the difference between a good orthodontic treatment result and a truly spectacular orthodontic treatment result has to do with where those teeth are in the face. our Doctor and the orthodontists with a similar treatment philosophy refer to this as “face-driven” treatment. So, for our Doctor, his examination of you or your child starts with the profile.
Anything you can tell our Doctor about your or your child’s teeth and mouth is helpful. These include night grinding; acid reflux; speech issues; mouth breathing; and tongue thrusts. Family histories are important and may be helpful since the occurrence of missing teeth is a trait that is passed along genetic lines.
To summarize, the examination is a process where our Doctor essentially takes an inventory of the your facial features, teeth and gums, and jaw joints so that he can tell you exactly what is necessary to properly fix your teeth. our Doctor will explain everything to you in plain English. He will give you his opinion with regard to the appropriate orthodontic treatments that could be used to address your chief complaint and to correct the alignment of your teeth or bite problem. He will answer any questions that you might have and respond to other orthodontic opinions that you may have gotten previously. And finally, our Doctor will tell you how long it will take to complete treatment.
The office manager or patient coordinator will give you the TREATMENT FEE and discuss the FLEXIBLE AND CONVENIENT PAYMENT OPTIONS. She will explain the next step in the process, DIAGNOSTIC RECORDS, and give you the fee for the records.
Understand that you have made no commitment to proceed with treatment if you have records taken. The diagnostic records are absolutely necessary, however, for our Doctor to thoroughly review. Although our Doctor is completely confident with the information he has discussed with you during the consultation appointment, he thoroughly analyzes the diagnostic records to confirm his diagnosis and to finalize your orthodontic treatment plan. The diagnostic records are yours. You may take them with you to obtain additional orthodontic opinions.
In our Doctor’s office, you will NEVER feel pressured to hastily make a decision. As our Doctor frequently says, “There is no emergency here!” our Doctor says that “there is a best time for everybody” and refers to “windows of opportunity.” With regard to orthodontic treatment for children specifically, there are periods in a child’s development when certain bite problems can be treated most easily and effectively with the greatest opportunity for a successful treatment outcome.
With regard to teen and adult orthodontics, our Doctor understands that for most people, they have been thinking about “fixing their teeth” for a long time. He knows that for most teenagers and adults, they have been battling with their parents or themselves just to make the consultation appointment; just to find out what it would take to fix their teeth; even though they already know that they need braces, but remain hopeful that there is the slightest chance our Doctor will say that all they need is a retainer. our Doctor understands this. Again, our Doctor will tell you exactly what you need to know so that you can “think about it.” When you leave, however, unlike when you came, will have all the information you need to make an INFORMED decision for you or your child. Be assured that our Doctor and his staff will be there when you are ready.