Are you looking into getting braces for yourself or your child? Getting that perfect smile that you’ve always wanted is exciting, but it’s a huge time and money commitment and you need to make sure that you have all of the information that you need.
This means doing your own research and having a conversation with your orthodontist before committing. You’re doing the first part now. Do you know what to ask during your orthodontic consultation?
We’re here to give you some ideas. Keep reading to learn everything that you should ask your orthodontist before starting treatment.
1. What’s the Cost?
The first thing that most people are curious about is the cost of their orthodontic work. That’s normal. As we said, it’s a big monetary investment, but it’s worth it for a straight and healthy smile.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with asking about the cost of braces during your consultation. Orthodontists know that you may need to put off treatment for when you have more in your savings account, or that you might need to finance.
Different kinds of treatment have different prices. Some orthodontic offices choose to keep the costs the same between standard braces, invisible ceramic braces, and clear aligners (like Invisalign), but this may vary depending on what they’re treating and how long treatment will take.
If you have dental insurance, ask your orthodontist if they take your insurance provider. Also, ask about payment plans if you’re uninsured. Your orthodontist wants to make sure that you get the smile that you want, so they’re happy to discuss your options.
2. What Needs to Be Improved?
When you visit the orthodontist you already know that you want straighter teeth, but did you know that there are orthodontic issues that have very little to do with aesthetics?
Some of the most common types of problems that orthodontists see are bite issues. While you might end up surprised at the length of treatment (we’ll discuss that later on), sometimes your bite is far worse than you realize.
There are several different types of bite problems. Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are the most common.
With overbites, your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth. With underbites, your lower teeth overlap your upper teeth. With crossbites, parts of one set of teeth “fit inside” the other set.
All of these can cause potential problems with dental hygiene. You want your teeth to fit together perfectly.
If you have a specific concern, like jaw pain or difficulty flossing, make sure to talk to your orthodontist about how they can treat it.
3. What Treatment Type Is Best for My Situation?
Not all forms of orthodontic treatment are alike. When it comes to choosing between the different types of braces, there are several factors that both you and your orthodontist need to consider.
While clear aligners are appropriate for most types of orthodontic work, it’s possible that due to severe crowding or serious rotations, your orthodontist may not be comfortable moving forward. They may recommend traditional braces instead.
Lifestyle is also a factor. Do you need treatment that looks subtle? Are you able to take your aligners out every time you eat? Are you responsible enough to clean around wire braces?
All of these things factor into the best type of treatment for you.
Why Did You Choose That Treatment Type?
As we mentioned, your orthodontist takes several factors into account. The severity of the condition, the types of movements that are necessary, and your level of responsibility all matter.
With some kinds of movements, age is also a factor.
Let’s take a teenage patient as an example. While they’re young and their teeth may be easy to move with clear aligners, they may also be less responsible than adults. This may lead your orthodontist to recommend traditional braces over Invisalign because Invisalign requires more diligence.
On the other hand, if they engage in behaviors that are more likely to result in damaged metal braces, they may recommend alternatives.
If you disagree with the orthodontist you can talk about trying treatment anyway or seek a second opinion. Your orthodontist wants what’s best for you.
4. How Long Will My Treatment Take?
Your treatment time will depend on the severity of your case and your ability to maintain good oral hygiene. If you have aligners, wearing them for the correct amount of time will also factor into treatment.
Moving teeth is faster than ever with modern orthodontic technology, but unless you have a very mild condition it’s likely that you’ll be in braces for over a year.
When you ask about treatment, make sure to ask your orthodontist about why they’ve made this timeline. After a consultation, your orthodontist may discover that your treatment should be longer or shorter than previously stated, but they’ll give you a good estimate before you start.
5. When Can I Get Started?
Once you’ve committed to treatment, ask your orthodontist when you can start. How long does it take to get braces in the first place?
Some procedures can start soon after the consultation. Putting on traditional braces is simple enough to be done right away. On the other hand, if you choose clear aligners, it may take several weeks for them to arrive.
Your orthodontist sends in the information about your teeth to the Invisalign company so they can make your aligners. In a few weeks, they’ll place any necessary attachments and make sure that your aligners fit so you can get started.
Are You Getting Braces? Ask These Questions First
Committing to getting braces is exciting, but don’t forget to ask these important questions first. Your orthodontist is happy to answer anything that you’re worried about. They want you to have the smile of your dreams!
Between cost, treatment type, and treatment length, you have a lot to think about. Are you ready to commit?
If you’re ready to get braces in North Carolina, we’re here to help you. Schedule a consultation today to get started on the path to your perfect smile.