Patients who want a properly aligned smile may not be familiar with the steps in the process. Here is an overview, so that if you’re considering orthodontic treatment, you can have a better idea of what you can expect.
Before you can get your dental braces, you must first complete an initial consultation. At this first appointment, you’ll get a chance to explore how orthodontic treatment can improve your smile and what kinds of results can be expected in your case. A specialist can identify the need for an intervention in patients as young as 6 or 7 years old, and early orthodontic treatment can reduce the amount of time spent in dental braces at a later age.
Older children, teens or even adults who want to enhance their smiles can benefit from a consultation to begin their treatment process as well.
If you decide you want to move forward with treatment after the consultation, the dentist will conduct a complete exam, taking some combination of x-rays, photographs and dental impressions in order to capture the baseline for treatment and inform the treatment plan. You will learn more about the anticipated costs of your dental braces at this appointment, as well as the projected timeline and your options for appliances, as well as financing plans, if necessary.
The next step is getting your appliances, whether they are conventional brackets and wires or Invisalign trays. If you’ve chosen the former, you will come to the office and have the dental braces bonded to your teeth. You’ll return every few weeks so that your provider can continue to make the necessary adjustments to guide the teeth into the desired positions.
Patients who choose Invisalign will receive the trays, along with instructions for wearing them and the schedule for changing to new trays. These patients will return for office visits less frequently so that their progress can be monitored.
After you are finished with active treatment, you will receive a retainer designed to maintain the proper positions of the teeth. You will begin by wearing this appliance all of the time and then slowly decrease the number of hours it is worn each day.
Do you have additional questions about the orthodontic treatment process? If so, call the office of Dr. John Morris at 269-979-1500 and speak to one of our knowledgeable, experienced staff members.