Posted on: 17 March 2015Share
When you take your child to his or her first orthodontic appointment, your child will not get braces, but this appointment is necessary for other reasons. There are four main things that will be completed during this initial appointment, and you should expect the visit to last for at least an hour. This visit will help you understand more about the process, what your child needs, and the cost that will be involved with the procedure.
X-Rays and Examination of the Teeth
One of the first things that might be done during your child's first orthodontic visit is x-rays. A dental assistant or technician will most likely do this, and he or she may need to take multiple different pictures to get a good look at the teeth. You might be able to save some money if you bring in recent x-rays of your child's teeth; however, some orthodontists prefer taking the pictures themselves.
Most orthodontists also snap regular pictures of each patient during this visit too. This is done simply to compare the teeth before and after treatment.
After the x-rays are taken and developed, the orthodontist will come in and examine your child's teeth and the x-rays. The purpose of this is to determine if the child's teeth are ready for braces, or if the child needs to wait for certain teeth to fall out or come in.
Impressions of the Teeth
If the orthodontist believes that the child is ready to have braces, a dental assistant will take impressions of the teeth. This is something that is done to create a mold of the child's mouth and teeth, and it involves a gooey substance.
According to Dentistry Today, there are numerous materials used for making impressions, but the most common types are polyvinyls, polyethers, and poysulfides. These materials all have putty-like textures, and they may have strange smells or tastes.
Getting impressions does not hurt, but it can be slightly uncomfortable. Fortunately, the process is fast, and once the putty hardens, the dental assistant will remove it from your child's mouth. This mold will then be used to determine a plan of action.
Plan Created for Straightening the Teeth
The mold created from the impressions helps the orthodontist see exactly what needs to be fixed. For some kids, braces are used simply to align a few teeth that are out of place. Other kids need braces because of problems with overbites or under bites, and there are also children that need them to reposition their jaws.
From the examination of the teeth, the x-rays, and the mold, the orthodontist will write out an explanation of exactly what the braces must do. This will help the orthodontist know how to install them and modify them throughout the next few months or years.
Determination and Explanation of Costs
The final step that is completed during this visit will be a breakdown of costs. The amount you will pay is primarily determined by the severity of the problems the child has with his or her teeth. According to Oral-B, traditional metal braces normally cost between $3,000 to $7,000.
The severity of the problems will determine an approximate time-frame for the braces too. Most people will wear braces for 12 to 24 months, but it could be longer if the person's teeth need a lot of work.
Most orthodontists offer payment plans to make it easier for parents to afford braces. With a typical payment plan, you may be required to put a certain percentage of the total costs as a down payment. The remaining amount may be divided up between the expected number of months the child will wear the braces.
If you have not yet scheduled a consultation appointment with an orthodontist at a place like Mar Orthodontics for your child, you may want to do this soon. The first appointment will not obligate you to do anything, but it will be very informative and thorough.