Adult Braces: What to Expect at Your First Appointment
Orthodontics Aren’t Just Kid Stuff
The use of orthodontic appliances to improve smiles isn’t just for kids and teens anymore. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, about one million Americans and Canadians over the age of 18 wear braces or aligners, and the use of adult orthodontics rose 24 percent between 1989 and 2008.
Modern orthodontic solutions requiring shorter treatment times and less visible appliances have continued to increase in popularity among adults who want to achieve more confidence in their personal lives and careers. If not for aesthetics, orthodontics can also help improve oral health and relieve pain and tension in the mouth and jaw.
Different Dentists, Different Appliances
Not all types of orthodontics are appropriate for every dental case, and not everyone needs a full-fledged orthodontist to get their dream smile. These are good things to keep in mind when choosing a dentist for your orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontists are dental specialists—they have completed three additional years of training beyond dental school to become experts in straightening and aligning teeth. The specialty of orthodontics includes diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a variety of dental and facial problems and may include the use of any type of dental appliances to achieve the desired outcome.
Certain types of orthodontics—such as the clear aligners made popular by Invisalign® or the “invisible” braces of Six Month Smiles®—allow general dentists who are not full-fledged orthodontists to achieve continuing education and official certification through the manufacturers for the specific use of those products to administer orthodontic treatment.
Your First Consultation & Checkup
Your first appointment should focus on fact-finding, education, and planning. You need to have a complete understanding of your current dental condition and all your treatment choices, which should be made clear by the end of the initial consultation.
- The doctor will want to review your complete medical and dental history before making recommendations for major orthodontic treatment, so expect some paperwork.
- Dr. Michael Colleran performs a comprehensive oral exam, thoroughly examining your teeth, mouth and jaws and asking detailed questions about jaw function (whether your jaw pops or clicks, if you have jaw pain, or have difficulty chewing or swallowing).
- Digital imaging and x-ray technology will be used to make a record of your teeth and bite for the most accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment plan.
- We will discuss customized treatment options with you, going over the pros and cons of each as they pertain to your individual case. The images or records taken of your mouth show exactly what is happening with your teeth and what each treatment option has the potential to accomplish and in what amount of time.
- Depending on Michael Colleran DDS policies, your treatment plan, and your budget, financing options are usually discussed at the first appointment with a staff member to allow you to make the most informed decision about your treatment acceptance and payment plan.
If you’re an adult in San Luis Obispo who’s interested in orthodontic treatment options, contact Dr. Colleran at Michael Colleran DDS today! We look forward to helping you straighten your smile and discover your confidence.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.