At Roanoke Valley Orthodontics, we love to meet new patients, but sometimes they are a little nervous about meeting us for the first time.
You can’t blame them too much. They have no idea what to expect and might even be afraid that something we do will be painful.
To help ease those worries a little, we decided to show you exactly what happens at your first appointment, so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. Our patient Taelyn and her mom agreed to let us take pictures of Taelyn’s most recent appointment so we could share of each step of the process.
First, a little background: Taelyn has had a first round of braces, also called interceptive treatment, because during an early screening she was found to have significant orthodontic problems. When that’s the case, we consider early treatment to help correct a current issue. This will also usually reduce the severity of teeth and bite problems once all of the permanent teeth erupt and can minimize the amount of work if a second phase of treatment is needed later. This appointment, as demonstrated by Taelyn, shows what a new patient would experience at their initial consultation.
When she arrives at the office, Taelyn stops by the brushing station to brush her teeth before her exam.
Ashley takes Taelyn back to our records room, where she takes several pictures, capturing all of her teeth and each angle of her bite. She also her takes pictures of her smiling, at rest, and of her profile so Dr. Jones can not only diagnose teeth and bite issues but also overall facial appearance and how we can best improve her smile.
Dr. Jones will use these photos to study and document Taelyn’s smile and the shape of her developing jaw so he can plan the best orthodontic options for her.
After the first set of photos, Ashley inserts two cheek retractors into Taelyn’s mouth, one on each side.
Taelyn holds the retractors while Ashley photographs her teeth and gums.
Now, time to switch! Ashley inserts lip retractors and a mirror into Taelyn’s mouth for her next set of photos.
The mirror helps Ashley capture pictures of the bottom teeth and bottom of the mouth.
Ashley flips the retractor around so she can get pictures of the top teeth and roof of the mouth.
With the mirror in place and an assist from Taelyn, Ashley photographs the top of Taelyn’s mouth. We asked Taelyn if it hurt to have the retractors or mirror in her mouth. She said that it felt a little strange to stretch her cheeks, but that it did not hurt at all.
After the photographs are complete, it’s time for an X-ray. Dr. Jones has the newest technology digital X-ray machine, which has the lowest possible radiation and the best quality images. Ashley helps Taelyn on with a lead apron to protect her from any excess radiation. This is the same type of apron you have to wear at the dentist when you get X-rays.
Ashley ensures that Taelyn is positioned properly then leaves the room to take the X-ray.
We usually only take one X-ray called a panoramic X-ray. This is not normally taken by your general dentist. This image gives Dr. Jones the ability to examine all baby teeth, all developing permanent teeth, the health of the jaws, the health of the TMJs, and any kind of pathology that may be associated with the jaws or the teeth. This image will also help him determine when a patient may be ready for orthodontic treatment and how to best diagnose a patient’s case.
See all the pictures? After the X-ray, Ashley pulls up all of Taelyn’s images for Dr. Jones to see.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jones examines Taelyn’s teeth and mouth to observe any changes since her last appointment and examine exactly how her bite comes together.
Dr. Jones checks the alignment of Taelyn’s jaw, listening and feeling for any popping as she opens and closes her mouth.
After his examination, Dr. Jones talks with Taelyn and her mom about her teeth.
If Taelyn had needed braces now, Dr. Jones would have discussed a treatment plan with her and her mom or dad. Ashely would then discuss financial arrangements with the family, including our different interest-free financing options, and then would discuss how Taelyn has become enrolled in our Patient Rewards Hub. Ashely can explain how this works at your first visit!
And that’s it! Start to finish, the initial consultation lasts about an hour or less. As you can see, it’s an easy, pain-free appointment that’s all about us getting to know you and your teeth and mouth so we can diagnose the best treatment plan for you or when you may be ready to start treatment.
To request your complimentary consultation at any of our three locations, please call 540-563-1640 or use our appointment request form.
For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website. We work with ALL insurances, will help you understand your benefits and will file on your behalf! We also have several payment options and a family care program that includes discounts for additional family members.
— The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team