A 'Typical' Treatment
Although the specifics of each case may differ, most patients follow a fairly standard progression of treatment that includes:
First Appointment: Initial Exam (No Charge)
There is no charge for your initial, no-obligation exam. After you complete the necessary paperwork, we'll begin by taking photos and X-rays, followed by a consultation with your orthodontist. Based on his or her diagnosis, we'll explain your treatment options, let you know in detail what to expect, and take the time to answer your questions. We'll also verify your insurance, let you know your portion of the cost, and explain payment options.
Oftentimes, we can even begin treatment on the first visit. If we determine you're not yet ready to begin treatment, we will schedule another diagnostic exam for a later date. We'll continue to monitor your development, without charge, until such time that you are ready to begin treatment. Your first visit takes approximately 90 minutes.
Second Appointment: Records/Contracts (Often Combined with the First Appointment)
During your second visit, we may want to take additional diagnostic records using our 3d oral scanner in order to make a more in-depth diagnosis of your case. Throughout treatment, we'll continue to take diagnostic measurements to track your progress and make adjustments to your treatment.
If you haven't done so already, you will need to turn in your signed Advised Consent and Contracts forms. Your down payment is also due at this time.
On this visit, we'll begin treatment by placing 'separating elastics' between the teeth. These 'separators' or 'spacers' prepare spaces between the teeth for the placement of orthodontic bands. We may also begin placing orthodontic brackets at this appointment. This appointment lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Third Appointment: Banding and Bracketing
At this appointment, we begin the main phase of your treatment by placing orthodontic bands and/or brackets and, if indicated, special appliances on your teeth, depending on the particulars of your case. If your minor child is the patient, we request that you be present for at least 15 minutes at the end of the appointment, so that the orthodontic assistant can provide you with information that you'll need to ensure a successful treatment outcome. This appointment usually lasts 90 minutes.
Procedures will vary from visit to visit, and it may be necessary during the course of treatment to have two or three longer appointments to place, reposition, or change your braces. However, most appointments involve only routine adjustments, lasting no more than 15–30 minutes. If your minor child is the patient, we require that you be on-site with them at each appointment.
If your child is the patient, you will need to periodically meet with your orthodontist or a team member, as indicated in the treatment schedule, to review your child's progress. You may also schedule an additional conference anytime during treatment, if you have questions or concerns.
Debanding and Retention Appointments
You will be notified 30–90 days in advance of your debanding appointment, which lasts approximately 1–1.5 hours. This is an exciting point in the treatment when you'll first see the amazing transformation your teeth have gone through. In place of braces, you will begin wearing retainers to prevent your teeth from moving while they 'set in their new bite.' During this phase of your treatment, your orthodontist will continue to monitor your progress to ensure that your teeth are maintaining their new positions. These appointments are brief, usually lasting no more than 15 minutes.