The Goal of the Initial Exam and Dental X-Rays
As the process of having braces placed begins, patients are going to have significant questions about what the next few months to years of their orthodontic treatment is going to hold. This is what makes the initial exam and digital x-rays so important. The first visit is going to be the foundation of the patient’s relationship with the orthodontist and the dental x-rays are going to guide the initial treatment decisions.
The Initial Exam and Dental X-Rays
The first visit is going to be about laying the foundation for future visits. The orthodontic provider is going to review the various expectations of the practice as well as answer any questions that the patient might have. The professional will review the various dental records of the patient and go through any medical problems that might have an impact on the future of the treatment. The patient will give their insurance status to the practice so that the proper business can be billed for the cost of the treatment. The patient will also leave their contact information to schedule future appointments.
The Clinical Exam
The orthodontic provider will also conduct an examination of the patient’s mouth. This is going to help provide some information regarding the initial diagnosis and the possible treatment options. The orthodontist will review the location and rotation of the teeth in addition to looking at the patient’s bite and the alignment of their jaw. Once they have a preliminary diagnosis, the provider will review the possible treatment options with the patient and discuss some alternatives. The provider will also leave some time to answer the questions that the patient might have.
Dental X-Rays are Necessary
If the patient has prior dental x-rays from their primary dentist, they will need to bring these to the visitor have them sent over from the practice. There are a few different types of x-rays that the patient might have. A panoramic x-ray is used to completely visualize the upper and lower teeth. It will provide information about extra teeth, missing teeth, and the jaw. A cephalometric x-ray is a different view from the side that reviews the position of the jaws and the front teeth. They will also provide a baseline to monitor the growth of children as the treatment progresses.
New Technology is Emerging
Some orthodontic practice is starting to use a technology known as Cone Beam CT, or CBCT, at their initial exam and dental x-ray. This provides a three-dimensional image that can be used to view the teeth and jaws. It gives spatial information about the various parts of the mouth and is particularly useful in patients who might have a cleft palate. This provides more accurate information that can be used to make more accurate treatment decisions. Anyone with questions should contact an oral health provider today to schedule an appointment.