Your smile journey
If you or your child has never had braces before, it’s natural to wonder what to expect when exploring orthodontia and the different treatments available. Here is a basic description of the steps our patients take upon choosing American Family Orthodontics for their orthodontic care.
During the free consultation, we get to know the patient and family members, helping them get acquainted with our office and practice philosophy. We then perform a thorough examination to determine if orthodontic treatment is needed. We answer any questions regarding what to expect with treatment, as well as the fee and our flexible payment options.
After the consultation, diagnostic records are an important step in orthodontic treatment. These records include photographs of your teeth and face, X-rays and models of the teeth. The information gathered from these records helps us customize an appropriate course of treatment for the patient. We then prepare a treatment plan specifically designed to address the patient’s orthodontic needs and requests. There is no cost associated with either the orthodontic consultation or initial records appointments.
This appointment provides an opportunity for the patient and members of their family to meet with the doctor to discuss the proposed treatment plan. During this appointment, we finalize the financial agreement. This can either be a separate appointment or included in the Initial Placement of Appliance visit.
Initial Placement of Braces or Clear Aligners
While placing the appliance(s) only takes 15-20 minutes, we usually schedule 60-90 minutes, to ensure we have time to cover all the necessary information with patients and parents. We’ll review brushing and flossing instructions, as well as show you some helpful tools to keep your teeth and braces or clear aligners clean throughout treatment. We’ll also review a list of foods to avoid and discuss any necessary changes in your eating habits while wearing braces or aligners. Because this appointment is longer, we generally schedule it in the morning or early afternoon.
This phase of treatment includes monthly adjustment visits (for patients in Comprehensive Treatment) and appliance adjustment visits (for patients in Phase I Treatment). These visits usually occur every three to six weeks and are approximately 30 minutes long. Periodic progress reports and records will be taken throughout the active period of treatment to ensure a high standard of quality and adherence to the patient’s individualized treatment plan.
Removal of Braces or Clear Aligners
The removal of orthodontic appliances usually takes about one hour. Instructions for wear and care of your retainers will be given at this appointment.
Patients will return to our office periodically after retainers have been delivered. These visits will typically take place every four to six months. During the retention appointments, the retainer is examined, adjusted and corrected to ensure proper function. It is important that the patient follow the doctor’s instructions on wearing the retainer to prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position.