Do you have an upcoming orthodontic evaluation? Whether the appointment is for you or your child, you may be wondering what to expect. Braces are a common orthodontic treatment, but they are not necessarily the only option, and not everyone will need them.
What does an orthodontic visit entail? How is the course of treatment determined for each patient? When should my child have an orthodontic evaluation? Learn the answers to these questions and more to prepare you for your first appointment with an orthodontist.
What Does an Orthodontic Evaluation Entail?
A typical orthodontic evaluation will include the following steps:
- Visual assessment. Dr. Stock will assess the position of your teeth and the shape of your jaw to determine if the teeth are in proper alignment. A measurement will be taken of your bite to find out what, if any, adjustments will need to be made.
- X-Ray images. At a follow-up digital X-Rays will be taken to see what is under the gum tissue. This is valuable information when it comes to the development and position of permanent teeth and the shape of the jaw.
- Consultation. After all of the necessary information is gathered and analyzed, you will have a consultation with Dr. Stock to go over the results, including the problems to be addressed as well as the treatment plan.
What Type of Treatment Will I Need?
If orthodontic treatment is necessary, there are a few different types. Dr. Stock’s recommendation will be based on your individual needs. Treatment may include:
- Braces. Metal or clear braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment and the most effective for the majority of patients. This treatment consists of brackets that attach to the front of your teeth with an archwire connecting them that is used to shift the teeth into proper alignment. Braces may include rubber bands for additional bite adjustments.
- Aligners. Clear plastic aligners are the latest way to straighten your teeth and correct bite misalignment. Aligners are a series of retainer-like trays that fit over your teeth to shift them into the proper position. The aligners are removable for eating and cleaning your teeth.
- Orthodontic appliance. There are a variety of orthodontic appliances that can make adjustments to your teeth, bite, and jaw. Orthodontic appliances are more common in early orthodontics for younger children.
- Orthognathic surgery. In some cases the only effective way to correct the position of the teeth and bite is to have surgery. Orthognathic surgery is performed on the jaw to modify the bone in order to achieve a more ideal shape for bite alignment.
Does an Orthodontic Evaluation Always Result in Treatment?
Just because you have an orthodontic evaluation does not necessarily mean you will need treatment. However, most people’s teeth do not come in naturally straight and will need some type of adjustment for ideal dental and oral health.
Children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. If necessary, early orthodontic treatment may begin around this age. For many children treatment will be delayed until later after all of their permanent teeth have come in. The most common age for braces is between 10 and 14.
Schedule a Free Evaluation Today
If you or your child are in need of an orthodontic evaluation, Dr. Suzanne Stock provides free new patient exams.