What happens at your first orthodontic appointment?

Most parents are nervous to bring their child to the dentist and orthodontist for several reasons… is it going to hurt? I don’t want my child to have a poor experience? I had a poor experience at a dentist and I don’t want my child to have one too? I’m worried about how much it will cost!… The list goes on. If you’ve never seen an orthodontist before, you may be wondering what, why and when you should have your first consultation. Here’s how it works at Meier & Benitez Orthodontics !

Since we are in the healthcare field and are dental professionals, we will ask you to fill some paperwork or online forms prior to your first visit. This can be found under the forms page on our website. This form asks for standard health history information and insurance information. We would like the insurance information prior to the first visit in order to verify your insurance benefits for you. If you are unable to complete the forms online, we will ask you to complete the information the day of your consultation.

Once the paperwork is taken care of, our staff members will obtain a set of diagnostic records. These may include intraoral and extraoral photos and x-rays. If you have had a recent panoramic radiograph at your general dentist please bring it to the appointment or ask them to forward it to our office. The x-rays are very important as they help us see the health and position of your teeth, bones, roots, and jaws. These records are very important, as they allow us to decide what treatment is most appropriate for you. Once your records are complete, Dr. Meier & Dr. Benitez will examine your face, lips, gums, teeth, and bite in order to determine your treatment options. Together with our treatment coordinator we will discuss your case and determine what treatment is best for you.

First and foremost, if you don’t need any treatment we will let you know. There are some cases that we believe don’t benefit from orthodontic treatment. This occurs when the problem is minor and the costs and risks of braces or Invisalign® outweigh the benefits.

Second, you may need orthodontic treatment, but you may not be ready for them. This usually happens when you still have baby teeth to lose, or we are waiting on the rest of your permanent teeth to come in. In these cases, we will schedule you to come back a few months down the road to check on the dental development. This appointment is a called an observation or recall visit.

Third, you may be ready for braces or Invisalign®, but you may have to see another dentist first. This happens if you have some gum or bone issues that need to be addressed, or you need to have some dental work finished. If you have some unfinished dental work or you need a cleaning, we will refer you back to your primary care dentist. If you have jaw sizes that do not match or you have an impacted tooth, we may need to refer you to see an oral surgeon. We believe in orthodontic treatment requires a team approach. Due to Dr. Meier’s & Dr. Benitez’s additional training in general dentistry, they are strong believers in comprehensive examination before your braces or Invisalign® go on.

Lastly, you are ready for braces or Invisalign® and can get treatment started right away. Our treatment coordinator will work with your family to provide flexible financial arrangements and a schedule that works best for you. As soon as that paperwork is done, you are ready for braces or or Invisalign®. Most patients want to start braces or Invisalign® the same day, so they don’t have to take additional time off from work or school.

As you can see, the first appointment is a breeze. It is really for us to take some pictures and x-rays and determine if braces or Invisalign® is best for you. We really enjoy our fun and friendly atmosphere and making patients feel like family. We are very excited to see you in our Jupiter, FL practice serving Jupiter, Jupiter Farms, Loxahatchee, Tequesta, Stuart, Palm Beach Gardens, and Northern Palm Beach County.

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