What do Orthodontists Do On the First Visit?


If you’re a first-time patient at the orthodontist, you understandably may have some questions about the protocol for your initial consultation. Your first visit is meant to establish a rapport between you and your orthodontist, create a profile of your dental anatomy, and determine the best treatment for you. At our practice, making each patient feel comfortable and cared for throughout their smile transformation is our utmost priority, but especially during the first appointment.

The first questions your orthodontist will ask

When you first arrive in the office for your consultation, we will ask you to fill out some paperwork to establish a basic understanding of your medical history for your orthodontist. In order to make the most educated recommendations for treatment, we need to collect certain pieces of information to fill out your patient profile. This will inform us if there is anything we need to avoid, if you have allergies, or if you have specific concerns with your teeth or health.

Meeting the staff

One of the most important parts of your consultation is meeting Dr. Hutta or Dr. Price and our practice’s staff members. These are the people who will be there for you throughout your treatment and at every future appointment. It’s important to get to know and trust your new orthodontic team. And we want to get to know you, too! From the receptionist who schedules your appointments to the orthodontists and our assistants who deal with your teeth, we are here to support you—starting at your first visit through the end of your smile transformation.

Our mission as a practice

Here at Hutta & Price Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on earning the trust of each patient—adult or child—who comes to us for care. Treatment yields invaluable benefits to your smile and health. This is a responsibility that we do not take lightly. Making you feel comfortable, from your consultation to your last appointment is one of our passions.

First exam and X-rays

Before braces or Invisalign®, our orthodontists and assistants must assess your unique anatomy, bite, teeth, jaw, and facial development. This is why we often conduct X-rays on the day of your consultation.

What the orthodontists look for and why

Before we even look in your mouth, we will take panoramic and cephalometric X-rays to visualize your bones and teeth—from root to tip! X-rays reveal underlying problems before treatment begins, such as erupting wisdom teeth, missing teeth, or problems that may progress with time. Additionally, X-rays provide orthodontists a way to visualize the position of your jaw, teeth, and bite prior to treatment. This will inform their treatment recommendation (whether that’s braces, Invisalign, palatal expanders, or other appliances). As needed, we may take more X-rays throughout treatment.

What to know if you’re getting braces for the first time

So, you’re new to braces. Whether you’re an adult or a child, this can be overwhelming at first. Do I get braces or Invisalign? How much time is it going to take? How often do I need to come see my orthodontist? These are all very normal questions, and you probably have many more coming into your consultation. Relax—you’re in great hands! Rest assured, we will answer your questions every step of the way. The most important thing is that your smile transformation will boost your confidence and wellness for years to come.

Important details about child orthodontics

When it comes to kids and orthodontics, treatment may be more streamlined and less invasive than if they waited for care until becoming adults. When children start treatment early—before losing all of their baby teeth—our experts can influence the child’s facial growth, preventing issues from developing, decreasing long-term risks for cavities and gum disease, and making everyday activities like eating and breathing easier.

A child who hasn’t yet lost all of their baby teeth may receive interceptive treatment, whereas people who have already lost all of their baby teeth may be treated in a singular phase of braces or Invisalign. Our experts recommend bringing in kids for an appointment to visit the orthodontist by age 7.

Your options for treatment

Modern braces are a fantastic, tried-and-true, flexible, and effective treatment. However, while braces may be the perfect treatment for many of our patients, we won’t deny that more discreet options may be preferable for some. While this decision is partially based on your eligibility, we have many discreet options for your smile transformation, including Damon Braces, Insignia, Invisalign, and Invisalign Smile Touch-Ups. At the end of the day, your orthodontist will help you make the best possible decision for your unique needs, teeth, and mouth.

Transforming your teeth

One advanced braces technology we use is Damon Braces. An innovative approach to orthodontics, Damon (or self-ligating) Braces are smaller than traditional braces and utilize an open-shut door mechanism to make treatment more efficient, comfortable, and streamlined. We also offer Insignia, a technology that allows us to transform your teeth using 3D imaging technology and customized appliances. Finally, we offer Invisalign, which is a discreet option. Invisalign involves wearing clear, removable aligners rather than brackets, making it convenient for special events, busy daily lives, and maintaining hygiene. For those who need a minor adjustment, Invisalign Smile Touch-Ups can transform teeth in just six months.

Aligning our care with your dental provider

Another thing we’ll do at your first appointment is ask for the name of your dental provider. This way, your dentist and orthodontist can be in touch if and when they need to be. Your dentist will always be up to date on any treatment you choose to undergo. This will set you and your teeth up for a seamless healthcare experience.

Why it’s wise to have both on your oral care team

Do I really need to keep seeing my dentist if I’m regularly seeing an orthodontist? This is a question that we receive fairly often, and the answer is always YES. Orthodontists are highly specialized dentists who have spent additional years training in orthodontics. Our work involves improving oral health and function by creating harmony between your teeth, bite, face, and mouth. We don’t conduct cleanings, treat gum disease, or fill cavities. All facets of oral healthcare are crucial. Therefore, it is very important to schedule regular dentist appointments while you’re going to the orthodontist.

Mapping out a payment plan

Orthodontic treatment can make some patients feel uneasy about payment. However, we offer full financial disclosure with regard to treatments and offer various options to make your transformation possible.

Affordability at Hutta & Price Orthodontics

We believe that cost should never be a barrier to healthy teeth! Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance plans. Patients with insurance coverage will be directed to speak with our insurance coordinator. Our coordinator will answer any questions pertaining to coverage and file claims. We also offer payment plan options, including interest-free financing, which makes payment flexibility even easier. With a monthly payment plan, our most popular options are more affordable than ever—Invisalign Smile Touch-Ups start at just $159 a month! At the end of the day, finding a way to make treatment work for you and your finances is part of our job.

Setting up next appointments

After the end of your first appointment, the last thing we will ask you to do is schedule your next appointment. Your second visit will likely involve being fitted for your orthodontic appliance, whether that’s braces or Invisalign. At future visits, your orthodontist will assess your teeth, ensure progress is on track, and make any adjustments as needed.

How often will I need to come in?

The frequency of visits will depend on your unique needs, chosen treatment, and how quickly your teeth move. But, do expect to see your orthodontist regularly throughout your smile transformation for checkups, new appliances, and adjustments.

If you have any questions or are ready to book an appointment, please call Hutta & Price Orthodontics at 614-855-8800.