When you first visit an orthodontics office, you’ll likely find it pretty similar to a general dentistry office. You’ll be greeted by reclining chairs; clean, shimmering metal tools; and doctors and staff busily working all around. While we look similar on the surface, our services are quite distinct from one another. Our field focuses on the correction of misaligned teeth and jaws, and we use tools like Invisalign and traditional braces to do our work. We work quite closely with general dentists; you might have even been referred to us through one. After our initial greeting, we’ll sit down with you for your consultation. It’s time to start making your personalized orthodontic plan!


The Personal Plan and Initial Exam

Everyone’s teeth are unique, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to orthodontics. That wouldn’t be any fun anyway—we like to get to know our clients! That’s why we begin by hearing from you. To start, you’ll let us know if you’re jaw is making noises it shouldn’t be, or you’re having problems chewing or swallowing. This input helps guide our problem-solving process; it’s among the most important information we can get.


CHT wants to hear about your particular needs, and we want to analyze them as well. To do this, we’ll perform an initial examination to determine what kind of treatment is needed. We’ll take a look around to see if there’re any problems apparent on the surface. This also gives us an idea of the treatment’s timeframe; we can decide if we should start ASAP or give it some time. Understanding the challenge is the critical first step in the creation of a solution, so we want to make sure and get this part exactly right. That’s why we like to take as much time as necessary—these initial sessions take about an hour from start to finish. We want to give everyone involved enough time to understand the process without the need to rush.


X-Rays and Impressions

We’ll likely take photographs and x-rays, then review them with you in great detail in order to best craft your personal treatment plan. The x-rays are really important, as they allow us to view the underlying structures that are critically involved in most orthodontic problems. These include teeth that have yet to breach the gum line and shifting or growing bones and teeth. For younger clients, x-rays are generally even more important because there’s so much left to develop.


Besides taking x-rays, we sometimes make an impression of your teeth. This will allow us to create a kind of model of your teeth to comprehensively assess underbites, overbites, and a host of other characteristics. The process is quite simple; you simply bite down on a bit of soft, putty-like for just a moment. We then quickly remove it, and make a mold of the impression you’ve made. It’s really a cool process; you can see your teeth in a way you’ve never considered before.


Implementation and the Details

After we’ve taken in all the information, we’ll talk about our options going forward. This may mean doing nothing at the moment, or it could mean jumping right into corrective treatments. Because we now know how to move forward, we can explain fees and payment options. It’s also the perfect time for any questions you might have about, well, anything at all. We’ll tell you as much as you want to know about the particular process; we really encourage open, comprehensive orthodontist-client conversation. Here, we’ll also schedule your next appointment for either a check-up or the beginning of treatment, depending on what we’ve determined is the best course of action.


See You Soon

We hope this outline of a first visit to the orthodontist is helpful in easing any anxieties you might have for yourself or your child. These things can be quite stressful, but we pride ourselves on keeping our client’s as informed as possible. Getting to that great smile should be a comfortable, fun process that CHT would love to help you with. If you have any questions or you’d like to schedule your own first appointment, give us a call at (630) 323-1201. You can also start a chat with us right away by opening the “Chat With Us Now” bar at the bottom of your page. See you soon!