What to Expect at Your First Visit
1. Initial Consultation (50 minutes)
At your first appointment, you will be greeted by our wonderful administrative team at the front door. If you haven’t already filled out the online new patient form sent to you beforehand via email, they will ask you to fill out a paper copy in order for us to collect some basic personal and medical information.
Once the form is completed, our new patient coordinator Shelley will come and introduce herself and bring you into our consultation room to take a series of photographs of you and your teeth. These pictures will allow the doctor to better explain what needs to be done to get you that perfect set of teeth.
Dr. Pollard, Dr. Diaz or Dr. Stewart will then come in to say hello, and then thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, jaws, and bite. This examination usually takes approximately 5-10 minutes.
After a brief explanation of what makes up a perfectly functional, esthetic, and healthy set of teeth by Shelley, the doctor will return to go over your specific orthodontic issues as well as a preliminary treatment plan including all options that may be available. They will also provide estimates of how long your treatment may take and how much it may cost. There will then be plenty of time for questions at this point. Also, if time permits, Shelley may give you a brief tour of our office so you feel more comfortable in the treatment area next time you are visiting.
2. Diagnostic Records (30 minutes)
If you have been deemed a candidate for orthodontic treatment from the initial examination, Dr. Pollard, Dr. Diaz or Dr. Stewart will need to gather some more information before they can accurately develop your definitive treatment plan. Therefore, your next appointment with us will be the collection of diagnostic records, which typically includes a digital scan of your teeth and bite (yay, no more goopy dental impressions!), intra- and extra-oral photographs, and radiographs (if required).
3. Final Consultation (50 minutes)
At the final consultation appointment, please bring along all those who will be directly involved in your treatment. The doctor will review your diagnostic records in detail, discuss all of your orthodontic issues that could benefit from correction, and then thoroughly explain your personalized treatment plan that will help achieve all of your goals. If any alternative options are available, these will also be discussed.
Once all of your treatment-related questions have been answered by the doctor, our new patient coordinator Shelley will take over and explain all of your different payment options available, including a variety of zero-interest payment plans stretched out over the course of your treatment. If none of our common payment plans fit your budget, Shelley will work with you and would be more than happy to customize a plan that suits you best.
4. Start Appointment (60-90 minutes)
This is the big day! One of our highly skilled Certified Orthodontic Assistants will begin by polishing your teeth and get them ready for brackets. She will then place a cheek retractor that keeps your lips and cheeks out of the way (just like the game ‘Speak Out!’) and makes sure your teeth stay dry during the bonding procedure.
Dr. Pollard, Dr. Diaz or Dr. Stewart will then come in and place each bracket very carefully in the correct spot and then uses a special light to harden (cure) them onto your tooth. This process only takes about 10 minutes!
After all brackets have been placed and cured, the assistant will remove the cheek retractor and then carefully remove any excess adhesive around the brackets. Specific wires are then placed in your braces that will begin aligning your teeth. You will also be able to pick colors for the elastics at this point. How exciting!
Before you go, the assistant will show you how to keep your teeth and braces clean by giving you a demonstration on proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) during orthodontic treatment. They will also educate you on what not to eat in order to avoid broken brackets and appliances. This information is very important and can directly influence your end result, so make sure to listen up!
5. Regular Adjustments (20-40 minutes)
These appointments are usually every 6-8 weeks and, depending on the stage of treatment you are in, can involve a change to your wires, elastics, and/or brackets. There is usually a chance to brush and floss without your wires in as well, but make sure you are not relying on this as your only thorough cleaning! Cavities and gum disease can occur very fast if oral hygiene is not ideal.