After your primary introductory appointment with your orthodontist, you’ll be invited back again for a formal evaluation to determine the appropriate course of treatment for your individual case. While some forms of orthodontic treatment may be discussed in the initial appointment, the official plan can’t be finalized until all of the information and tests have been evaluated and reviewed extensively.
For this reason, the consultation is only scheduled upon a few weeks following that initial appointment. During this time the orthodontist has time to receive the models from the lab and prepare the proper treatment plan. In the initial appointment the orthodontic examination will examine the patient’s jaw alignment and teeth. The orthodontist will then collect a set of orthodontic records, i.e. plaster or virtual image models, x rays, and medical dental history.
Orthodontic Treatment Plan – What to Expect
The patient should expect to spend about a half an hour at the orthodontic practice and this session will include a discussion of the diagnosis, the affirmative treatment plan, alternative treatment plans and the possibility for risks and complications. Since the patient should have seen their dental practitioner before arriving to the orthodontist clinic for treatment, this routine check up should prepare them for this discussion. The end of this discussion should include informed consent and a brief analysis of the financial arrangements that will need to take place.
It’s important that if the patient is a minor there’s a parent or legal guardian present for this consultation, as many of the matters being discussed involve legal issues and in addition a parent or legal guardian knows the patient best. This can help the orthodontist to make decisions about proposed treatment options and risks to make sure the best option and treatment method is selected.
For the diagnosis itself you should typically expect the problems regarding bite, spaces, crowding, missing teeth, misalignment, jaw position, or other growth concerns. It’s important that the orthodontist discusses this with the patient and their guardian in depth referencing dental images, x-rays, etc. from the initial appointment.
The Treatment Plan
The specific treatment plan is designed just to address the issues that were covered in the discussion of the diagnosis. The specific appliances and treatment recommendations, i.e. the length of the treatment and the precautions, etc. and the need for cooperation by the patient are also discussed along with the alternative treatment options (even non-treatment).
It’s essential before making a final and somewhat permanent decision that the patient and the orthodontist are aware of all of the different options before deciding on the treatment course. While there may be many advantages and disadvantages to each individual option, a thorough analysis will help in the decision making process. The options will vary amongst different scenarios and situations. Some patients may have a plethora of different options, where others have just one, treatment vs. no treatment.
Finally, at the end of the consultation appointment you’ll receive a contract that provides you with all of the payment information regarding the treatment. The fee will be discussed and signed upon agreement by both the patient and their parent or legal guardian.
Changes in Actions
As we know in life, not everything always goes as planned. Often times there are instances when you or your orthodontist needs to change the course of the treatment plan for a variety of reasons. These could consist of poor patient cooperation, change in growth, patient’s desires, periodontal problems, or improved appliances/technology.
The alternatives in these particular situations may vary in each case of the individual’s specific reasoning, problem, and solutions available. These changes have the capacity to lengthen your treatment time, and could incur additional fees.
All in all, if you maintain good terms with your orthodontist throughout the treatment, and the treatment planning process, you can ensure a pleasant experience and when or if the changes do occur you’ll know you’re in good hands. When using a cloud based system like CephX, changes can be monitored in the patient’s oral health easily and conveniently so the orthodontist is trusted to perform accordingly to see the best results.