An orthodontic visit may seem routine, but your initial consultation is far from it. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know your orthodontist and ask any questions you have about your orthodontic treatment. After all, you want to make sure you’ve chosen the right professional for the job!
Here are the most important questions to ask before your treatment.
What is your training background?
Orthodontists must complete additional years of training once they qualify as a dentist. Each orthodontist’s level of experience and education may vary. Ask your professional where they attended dental school, how long they’ve been in practice and if they’ve carried out any specialty training over and above general orthodontics.
Do I really need orthodontic treatment?
This is an important question to ask. No matter what type of treatment you choose or receive, it’s important to invest in your smile. If your teeth are crooked or overcrowded, removing all the plaque that gets stuck between your teeth is difficult. When it builds up, plaque can result in gum disease. Incorrect bites can also cause teeth to wear and require restorations that may be a hassle to maintain.
Remember, you only get one set of adult teeth, so don’t put yourself at risk of a lifetime of painful and expensive problems.
What treatment do you suggest?
Asking what orthodontic treatment you should have seems obvious, doesn’t it? But your expectations may well differ from the services your orthodontist suggests. Rather make sure you’re both on the same page.
Make sure you tell your orthodontist what you want to address in terms of your bite and the alignment of your teeth. Emphasise the results you want to achieve and find out what the suggested treatment should achieve.
What are the treatment options?
There are plenty of orthodontic treatment options available today, and it’s important to consider all your options before you make a decision.
Other than traditional metal braces, there are lingual braces, ceramic braces and clear aligners like Invisalign. Depending on your orthodontic alignment issue, not every option will work for you. That’s why you need to have an honest discussion with the orthodontist about which one will be the most successful.
Are there any other options?
After your initial consultation, your orthodontist will have a suggested course of treatment for you. Ask them to walk through the decision for you and then ask about alternative orthodontic treatments. This is another way to ensure you understand all your options.
For instance, if your orthodontist recommends a particular orthodontic treatment, find out if there are any other cosmetic dental options and find out the pros and cons of each treatment.
What exactly will change with treatment?
Every treatment has positive effects and several side effects, even orthodontics.
So, ask your orthodontist if the suggested treatment could change your facial profile. Or, find out if your treatment will affect how you speak and chew.
Often, orthodontic changes are positive, but you should know what to expect before making a decision. Keep in mind that the changes to the structure of your mouth aren’t immediate. Orthodontic change is designed to be a slow and steady change, which is why you also need to know how long treatment may last.
How long will the orthodontic treatment last?
The length of your treatment will vary depending on the treatment and also your alignment problems. For example, traditional braces can take anywhere from several months to 3 years. Clear aligner treatment like Invisalign is often completed within 12 or 18 months.
It all varies, though, so get the facts about your orthodontic treatment before your treatment starts.
Will the treatment be painful?
Overall, orthodontic treatment doesn’t hurt. But you might experience a little soft-tissue and tooth sensitivity when you first receive your appliances and go for the necessary adjustments. If you choose a braces treatment with wires and brackets, the wires might irritate the sides of the mouth, but this usually subsides within a couple of days.
Fortunately, there are ways to relieve irritation, like rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.
Can I see similar cases and their treatment?
Even if your orthodontist has many years of experience, it is still reassuring to see cases similar to yours. Every orthodontic issue is unique, but you should feel free to ask if you can see pictures of past work. This will help you get an idea of the quality of their work and help you feel more at ease about your orthodontic treatment.
How can I maintain my dental hygiene if I have braces?
If braces are the choice for you, ask your orthodontist how to keep your teeth clean during your treatment. There are certain tools and materials you can use, such as floss threaders, to keep up your oral hygiene as you undergo orthodontic treatment.
You’ll also want to know which foods you can eat and which to avoid to help keep your braces clean and doing what they need to. Brushing and flossing are important, too, especially with braces, to ensure you really do have a perfect smile at the end of your treatment.
How much will this all cost?
Finally, you’ll need to find out how much your orthodontic treatment will cost. Orthodontics can quickly rack up into the thousands of dollars. But your orthodontist may offer flexible payment plans to make your treatment more affordable.
Make sure you choose an orthodontist that is prepared to work with you to get the care you need. Ideally, at a price you can comfortably afford.
At Fine Orthodontics, we offer a wide range of orthodontic treatments and payment plans. Our desire is to help you achieve a healthy, straight smile and continued orthodontic care.
Book your appointment with the friendly and skilled Fine Orthodontics team today.