The first trip to the orthodontist used to be delayed until the permanent teeth emerged, or sometimes later. Now, it is common to have an orthodontic evaluation at about age seven to determine if intervention will be necessary to ensure the permanent teeth are properly aligned.
The First Visit to the Orthodontist
Many parents are referred to an orthodontist by their child’s pediatric dentist. Because the dentist X-rays the teeth on a regular basis, he can see how the permanent teeth are positioned long before they actually emerge. Many potential problems are visible in these regular X-rays. The dentist can tell if teeth appear to be too crowded or improperly positioned, and can provide a referral to see if your child will need orthodontic treatment.
The first orthodontic visit is generally an evaluation. The orthodontist will take X-rays and/or digital photographs of your child’s teeth and use these to determine if treatment is necessary and, if so, what course of treatment will be most effective. This evaluation will help give you a better understanding of what your child’s teeth look like now, what they will look like without intervention, and what to expect after treatment with braces. During this time, you should also ask about concerns such as expense, length of treatment, and possible financing.
Deciding on Orthodontic Treatment
Based on this initial exam, you can determine if orthodontic treatment is the best choice for your child. In some cases, early intervention can greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for long-term treatment with braces. Our orthodontist might also suggest treatment such as:
- Palate expander to widen upper teeth
- Tooth extraction to make additional room
- Invisalign instead of traditional braces
Once you have an idea of what type of treatment your child might need, you can discuss the treatment timeline and a cost estimate. You should be able to get the answers to all of your questions during your initial visit.
To learn more or to schedule your informative consultation, contact Inspire Dental Group today.