Whether you’re visiting our Morehead City, Havelock, or Jacksonville, NC location, your first visit to an orthodontist’s office is an exciting time! It’s a chance for us to get acquainted, and for you to learn about the orthodontic treatments and services we offer, like braces and Invisalign.
What to Expect
When you walk through out door, you may notice that our orthodontists’ office looks similar to your regular dentist’s office. What we do here, however, is a little different. It all starts with the initial consultation.
During the first visit you will begin by meeting one of our receptionists or patient coordinators who will take some information from you and bring you through the office. Then it’s time for some diagnostic work and an exam. You should plan to spend at least an hour with us during your first visit at our Morehead City, Havelock, or Jacksonville, NC office. Setting aside that hour ensures us the time to thoroughly address your needs and allow you plenty of time to ask any questions you may have.
Let’s Make a Plan
A big part of our job during the first visit is determining what orthodontic treatment is necessary to correct any problems we might find. Additionally, we ascertain whether we should begin your treatment now, or wait until a later time.
Our procedure starts by taking a set of regular photographs of your teeth in their present state. Next, we’ll probably take a series of radiographic (X-ray) images. These pictures allow us to see what’s going on underneath the gums: the position and growth of bones and joints, and the teeth that are still below the gum line. In some cases, we may also take an impression (mold) of your teeth. This lets us make an exact replica of the bite, which helps your orthodontist understand exactly what the problem is and how to best treat it. Taking a mold impression is a simple process that involves the patient biting down on a soft putty-like material for a few moments to create an impression; then we remove the putty and make the mold in our lab.
Once this is complete, it is time for the exam. Your orthodontist will begin by looking look at your dental records and images. Besides looking in the mouth, your orthodontist may also ask you some questions. For example: do your jaws make noise when you open and close your mouth, or do you have any problems chewing or swallowing? Combining this information with a careful examination, your orthodontist will be able to make a proper diagnosis and compose a treatment plan for you.
Discussing Your Treatment Options
Following the exam, we might tell you that things are just fine or we might recommend treatment. Based on your orthodontist’s findings, we might recommend beginning treatment right away or waiting until a later time. This is dependent on the developmental stage of your teeth and jaws. If we suggest waiting, many times we’ll advise you to return for a periodic checkup until we determine that it’s time for treatment to start.
At this time during your first visit we will also discuss the specifics of your treatment plan. And we will explain what your fees will be, and what payment options are available to you.
Whether you’re starting now or later, this part of the visit is the best time to ask questions about the process. We can talk about available orthodontic treatment choices, answer general questions about what to expect at the different stages of the journey, and address anything else you wish to discuss. Some common questions we get are:
- Can orthodontic treatment benefit me (or my child)?
- What general procedures will be used to correct the problem?
- Are any options available (or recommended) for my treatment?
- Should I get treatment now, or is it better to wait?
- Will tooth extraction be necessary?
- How much does treatment cost?
- Are payment plans available?
- How long do you expect my treatment to take?
The Next Step
At the end of your first visit to our Morehead City, Havelock, or Jacksonville, NC office you’ll have a thorough understanding of how we can help you get the best smile possible. To begin the journey toward that smile, contact one of our three orthodontists’ offices and schedule a consultation now:
We can’t wait to hear from you and help you smile brighter!