Orthodontic Consultation

March 26, 2011 by Dr. Ng SN

Topics

  • Consultation
  • Examination
  • Other Investigation
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Other Options
  • Warnings
  • Financial Arrangements

Consultation

A consultation for braces by dentist/orthodontist is a necessary to determine the need for braces, to size the braces and decide on various other factors concerning the impending braces. The consultation will last about a half an hour and cover various aspects of the braces as well as provide patients and their parents with all the necessary information.

During consultation, you will be asked questions such as:

  • What you don’t like about your teeth/face?
  • What do you want to achieve at the end of the treatment?
  • You expectation  form the treatment

Examination

Next, the orthodontist will examine your face profile (such as skeletal pattern, facial height and symmetry) , position of you nose, upper and lower lips and position of you chin.
Then, he will looks into your mouth to see the position of the upper front teeth; how much the teeth inclined, whether they are in front or behind the lower front teeth. He will examine each segment of your teeth; whether the teeth overlap each other (insufficient space) or spacing, any tooth tilted, submerge
Finally,  oral hygiene, any teeth need to be restored, decayed teeth or impacted wisdom teeth to be extracted.

Other Investigations

Photos of patient face for orthodontic assessment

To complete the assessment, photos of your face and teeth as well as X-rays of the mouth will be taken at the consultation, and a molding of the teeth may be taken.

Photos of patient’s teeth

Dental Panoramic Tomogram or OPG radiograph

Cephalometry Analysis done with  computer software

Two radiographs that required you to have are the dental panoramic tomography (OPG) and  lateral cephalometry radiograph. Dental panoramic tomography (OPG) allows orthodontist to examine the whole upper and lower jaw; to look of any missing teeth, impacted or embedded teeth. It is a good radiograph to look for any pathological lesion in the jaw bone.  Lateral cephalometry radiograph is used to determine the upper and lower jaw relationship. Computer software is used to analyze the severity of  jaws discrepancy and is it important for treatment planning.

Dental Model – Duplication of patient’s mouth

Diagnosis

The main focus at the braces consultation is determining the need for braces. This diagnosis is often obtained before the consultation appointment but will be discussed in reference to treatment plans for your orthodontic problems.

Treatment


Each specific treatment plan will be discussed and outlined at the braces consultation. Treatment plans may include wearing a retainer for a few weeks before having the braces placed. The amount of time the braces will need to remain in place will also be discussed at the consultation. It is during the discussion of treatment when the orthodontist will explain to you the necessary care for braces. At the consultation visit, you will be allowed to decide the types of braces (metal or crystal) and the colors of each brackets.
He will also discuss with you other dental treatments that you needed before orthodontic treatment such as scaling, restoration work and extraction. Sometime, you are required to undergo minor surgery to remove impacted or embedded tooth prior orthodontic treatment.

Other Options

Alternative treatments will also be discussed at the braces consultation. Alternative treatments may include only wearing a retainer or wearing a clear mouth guard apparatus.

Warnings

At the consultation appointment, the orthodontist will discuss the risks and complications associated with wearing braces. The orthodontist will then warn you about pain and discomfort associated with the braces and possible problems the braces can create, such as the removal of enamel from the teeth and gum soreness and bleeding. He will ask you to clean your teeth very well to prevent teeth decay during orthodontic treatment. You will have to wear a retainer at the end of the treatment to minimize relapse.

Financial Arrangements

Because braces are expensive, it is important that payment arrangements be discussed at the consultation appointment. At the consultation, the orthodontist may ask the patient and guardians if the patient has dental insurance. If the patient does not have dental insurance, the orthodontist may be able to set the patient up on a payment plant or may require the total cost of the braces be paid up front or by installment.

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