Referred to an Orthodontist? Here’s What To Expect

Whether you’ve been referred by your dentist or are going to an orthodontist on your own accord, there are some things you should know about. Your first orthodontist appointment is slightly different than a regular dentist appointment, but that doesn’t mean it should be an overwhelming experience. Visiting an orthodontist should be an exciting time because it means you’re on the road towards a healthy smile. However, the unknown can seem scary, that’s why this article will outline the process of an orthodontist appointment and what you can expect when you visit an orthodontist in Idaho Falls for the first time.

Schedule Your Consultation

Even if you’ve been directed to an Idaho Falls orthodontist by your regular dentist, most orthodontic offices will want to schedule a free initial consultation before any type of exam or treatment plan is performed. Most often, orthodontists will begin seeing patients around the age of seven if the dentist refers the child. At this age, orthodontists are able to see any current and potential issues in the teeth and bite.

At your consultation you should expect to fill out any necessary paperwork (unless you have previously done so online), meet with the staff, and tour the office. Sometimes the initial consultation will also include the first examination, but that is entirely up to the patient. Since orthodontic treatment can last for years, depending on the case and treatment plan, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and heard at the orthodontist’s office. If you do feel like like the consultation went well and the orthodontist recommends it, you can move forward with the first examination.

New Patient Exam

Idaho Falls orthodontist - x-rays

Depending on how you set up your appointment, this may follow immediately after your initial consultation or will be scheduled for a different day. Randall Orthodontics patients are taken through a detailed examination process in order to specify what their needs are and what treatment plans are best suited for those needs. Expect to spend about an hour with your Idaho Falls orthodontist so that x-rays, exams can happen, along with any questions you may have. Some things that happen and are usually discussed during a new patient exam include, but are not limited to:

  • Taking previous and current dental records
  • Taking x-rays and/or dental impressions
  • Talking about what treatment plans are appropriate for your desired results (braces, clear braces, lingual braces, invisible trays)
  • Giving you information regarding the timeline and cost of treatment
  • Offering options and payment plans for how you will pay for the cost of treatment

After the exam is completed and both you and your Idaho Falls orthodontist have agreed upon the cost, payment, and treatment plan, you will most likely schedule your first “treatment” appointment at this time.

Getting Braces

Idaho Falls orthodontist - braces on teeth

If during the exam process, you decided to get braces to either straighten your smile and/or correct a misaligned bite, getting your braces put on is an exciting and somewhat nerve racking experience. But there’s no need to worry! Getting braces put on is quicker and much less painful than it used to be, thanks to advanced orthodontic technology. Getting braces put on for the first time takes a couple hours and will include the following procedures:

  • The teeth are cleaned using a special orthodontic cleaner that allows the bonding glue to adhere securely to the teeth.
  • After this cleaner is applied, your mouth and teeth will be rinsed with water and cleaned with air. Usually a bite block is placed in the mouth to keep your tongue from touching your teeth.
  • Then a bonding substance is applied to the teeth, where this substance is applied is where the brackets will be placed.
  • After each of the brackets have been placed on the teeth and the excess bonding glue has been wiped away, the glue is dried. Once the glue is dry, wires will be attached between the brackets.
  • At this time, your Idaho Falls orthodontist will show you how and where elastic bands need to be placed (if needed) and also how to properly clean in and around the braces.
  • Once this process is complete, you will be sent home with wax for your braces, elastic bands, flossers, and any other tools your orthodontist sees fit to send you home with.

Getting braces is no longer a painful experience, but it may be uncomfortable at first. At the beginning, try eating softer foods. If for some reason you do experience pain after getting braces, contact your orthodontist in Idaho Falls. He or she may be able to suggest something that can manage the pain.

Once your braces are on, you should expect to see your Idaho Falls orthodontist every six to eight weeks until treatment is over; usually anywhere from 18 to 36 months. These appointments generally take about 30 minutes.

Invisible Trays

Some people prefer the option of having removable and invisible trays that help to straighten your teeth. However, not everyone is a candidate for trays, so check with your orthodontist to see if you are. Getting set up with an invisible tray, more commonly known as Invisalign is slightly different from braces. When you choose invisible trays to straighten your smile, you can expect the following:

  • At your exam, impressions will be made of your teeth that will be sent out that same day.
  • These impressions of your teeth and bite are used to create a set of custom aligners for you.
  • When your Idaho Falls orthodontist receives your aligners, we will contact you and set up an appointment to attach clear colored buttons on your teeth that allow the tray to stay put once inserted over the teeth.
  • Once you’ve been set up with your first set of trays, your orthodontist will advise you on how to take care of and wear your new invisible aligners.

Aligners are meant to be worn for most of the day and are generally changed every two to three weeks. Much like your braces, these follow up appointments do not last long, only about 30 minutes. Aligners do tend to take a little longer to work, but each case is different and your Idaho Falls orthodontist will help to make sure that you are progressing along the right timeline.
If you’d like to schedule a free, initial consultation with an orthodontist in Idaho Falls, contact Randall Orthodontics today. We specialize in all types of orthodontic services and treatment options such as, Damon System clear braces, lingual braces, ceramic braces, invisible aligners and more.