Making that first trip to an orthodontist can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. An orthodontist, much like the dentist, takes care of your oral health, albeit the area of focus for their practice is a much more specialized one.
Specifically, while dentists and orthodontists share the same foundational skills when it comes to diagnosing and treating conditions of the teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth, orthodontists also receive further training for issues involving the misalignment of teeth and jaws.
That’s why if your dentist tells you that you need to wear braces, you go to an orthodontist for further treatment. The same goes if you are diagnosed with TMJ or temporomandibular jaw disorder, which is the misalignment of jaws.
The First Visit
That said, the first visit is definitely going to be very important because this makes up the initial consultation. Here, you can expect the orthodontist to ask questions about your symptoms and what prompted you to seek out their service.
If you’ve already come from a dentist, they will do tests to verify your dentist’s diagnosis. If you come straight to them with symptoms, then they will also have to verify your claims by running tests and procedures for analysis.
Among these procedures and tests are x-ray scans, and sometimes, even CT scans. It’s important to have an accurate visual representation of your entire mouth and jaws so that they can see what the problem actually is.
They may also ask for your dental imprints, which would involve you biting down on a molding clay. This would help supplement their analysis of what the X-ray or CT scans provide, this time from a different perspective from inside your mouth.
Apart from these procedures, you should also prepare a detailed itemization of your medical history, particularly if you’ve had any previous procedures are done that could impact your dental condition. Make special note of any allergies to medication or anesthesia, should you have one, just in case they become necessary for your orthodontic procedure.
Although you might think that your oral health has nothing to do with your general health, the fact is that some oral conditions are actually symptoms of further underlying conditions. It would be good to appraise your orthodontist about them so that they could also have further context about your condition.
Your orthodontist will decide on the best course of action based on the information you provide, as well as the results of the tests. Nonetheless, if you have any particular idea about what you want done to improve your oral health, the first visit is the best time to do so, so that your orthodontist can answer your inquiries.
Based on the determined plan, they can then provide you a timeline as to when you’ll come back to get the procedures started, as well as for how long it’s going to run. Braces, for example, can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years, depending on the condition of your teeth and how fast they respond to the adjustments.
In case of TMJ correction, meanwhile, your orthodontist could also recommend getting light shockwave therapy apart from the corrective splint you’ll have to wear daily.
Know more about your options, requirements, and the cost of the overall treatment during this first visit with an orthodontist, such as those from Colorado Orthodontics (https://www.coortho.com/).