What To Expect During Your Child’s First Visit To The Orthodontist

If your child's dentist has referred you to an orthodontist, you may be wondering what to expect. In some ways, an initial visit to an orthodontist is similar to a normal dental appointment, and in other ways it is different. When you take your child to the orthodontist for the first time, you can expect the following:

Review of Medical and Dental History

In order for an orthodontist to provide the best care for your child, a thorough review of his or her dental and medical history is required. As the parent, you will typically be given forms to fill out, and the orthodontist will go over the information that you provided with you to ensure its accuracy.

A Comprehensive Oral Exam

Before an orthodontist can make any recommendations for orthodontic treatment, a thorough oral exam is conducted. In addition to visually examining your child's teeth, the orthodontist may also request x-rays and photographs to be taken. The x-rays are necessary so the orthodontist can see the shape and condition of your child's jaw, which can affect the alignment of the teeth, and can also play a part in the proposed treatment plan. In some cases, the orthodontist may also make custom molds of your child's teeth in order to get a better understanding of the alignment of the teeth, as well as your child's bite.

Thorough Explanation of Proposed Treatment Plan

After the orthodontist has examined your child's teeth, jaw, and bite, he or she will be able to outline the details of a treatment plan that will correct any orthodontic issues that your child may have. In many cases, braces are recommended to improve the alignment of a child's teeth, but in some instances, a retainer may be sufficient. In addition to recommending a treatment, the orthodontist may provide a rough estimate of how long the treatment will take. As a parent,do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have—orthodontists want to ensure that the parents of minor patients have a clear understanding of the orthodontic treatment options available for their children.

Outline of Financial Policies and Insurance Coverage

Orthodontic treatment is not cheap, but a reputable orthodontic practice will clearly outline the costs involved with a treatment, and will be able to determine how much your dental insurance will cover. Most orthodontists offer a payment plan option, so you can pay for the cost of your child's orthodontic treatment over time instead of in one large lump sum.