Your First Visit with the Orthodontist

At what age should my child first visit the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontist at age seven. This initial examination may identify a developing problem while baby teeth are still present. The orthodontist may recommend treatment at this time or may choose to monitor the child’s growth and development, recommending needed treatment when it is appropriate.

What will happen during the first visit with the orthodontist?

The first appointment is for a preliminary clinical examination to determine if there is a need for orthodontic treatment. You will be advised on the general nature of the orthodontic problem. If the patient is not ready to start treatment at this time, he or she will be placed on recall for periodic observation. If orthodontic treatment is indicated, an appointment will be set up for diagnostic records or if time permits after the initial exam.

What are orthodontic records and why are they necessary?

Orthodontic records usually include X-rays, photographs of the teeth and face, and models of the teeth. The records provide a wealth of information that is not always revealed by a visual examination. This may include missing teeth, extra teeth, the condition and development of tooth roots, growth patterns of the jaws and face, symmetry, and a host of other factors. Complete records form the basis for a thorough and accurate diagnosis and a sound treatment plan.

What is the case presentation?

During the case presentation Dr. Pyle will present his diagnosis, treatment plan and total fee in detail to the patient and parent. Most cases will take anywhere from 6 to 30 months depending on the situation. This appointment will require at least one parent to be present if the patient is a minor.

What are the fees for orthodontic treatment?

Charges for the new patient exam are complimentary. The cost for orthodontic treatment varies greatly between patients and will be discussed in detail during the case presentation.

Will my insurance cover orthodontic treatment?

If your insurance covers orthodontic treatment, you will receive the benefit of reduced personal costs. Many insurance policies have a lifetime orthodontic benefit that is distinct from regular dental insurance. Insurance policies vary, so we will review your insurance to determine the appropriate course of action. Once treatment has started, we will file your claims. To help us with your insurance filing, please complete the insurance questions on our questionnaire. Please remember that orthodontic insurance is a benefit for you or your child. If, during the course of treatment, your benefits change, the financially responsible party is accountable for all charges.

When are appointments scheduled?

The appointment times for getting appliances put on (braces, expanders, etc.) run from one to two hours. Subsequent appointments, to adjust your appliances, will be every 4-6 weeks and take between 15-30 minutes. In some cases it is necessary to move the braces to ensure the most accurate tooth positions. These appointments to re-position the braces can take up to one hour. It is important to attend all of your scheduled appointments in order to insure proper movement of your teeth.