What to expect from your first visit

Before you come to see the orthodontist you may have some questions you would like answered.

Why have I been referred to the orthodontist?

Your dentist would like specialist advice about the position of your teeth. The orthodontist will advise whether you would benefit from orthodontic treatment.

What is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment usually involves the wearing of braces (removable or fixed) often the extraction of teeth, and very occasionally jaw surgery.

Why might I need orthodontic treatment?

There are 3 main reasons for having orthodontic treatment:

  To improve the appearance of the teeth.

  To improve function i.e. to make it easier to eat.

  To improve the health of the teeth and gums

What will happen at my first appointment?

The orthodontist will have a look at your mouth and teeth using a small mouth mirror and a ruler. Diagnostic records [X-rays, photographs and moulds (impressions)] may also be taken. These measurements and records will help the orthodontist decide which is the best treatment for you.

What will happen next?

There are likely to be four possible outcomes, each of which will be explained by the orthodontist. These include:

    You are not yet ready for treatment, in which case you may need to see the orthodontist again when you are older.
    Your dental health is not good enough. This may be due to poor toothbrushing, decayed teeth or an unhealthy diet. Your treatment can only commence once oral and dental health has been restored.
    You do not need treatment because the position of your teeth is perfectly acceptable, or expected to be.
    You are ready for treatment and need to decide whether to go ahead.

What happens if I am ready to start treatment?

The orthodontist will explain:

    The options for treatment and which is the best for you.
    The pros and cons of treatment.
    The length of time the treatment is likely take.
    The commitment needed on your part if treatment is to be successful.
    When you can expect the treatment to begin.
    The cost of treatment and medical aid approval

At this point you will be given the chance to ask any questions. If you would like to go ahead with the treatment, the orthodontist may ask for written consent.