First Visit

Your first orthodontic appointment.

Your first visit to our office is an exciting opportunity for us to get to know you as a new patient and discuss potential treatment options.  You can expect our staff to welcome you and your family as we gather some information about you.

Dr. Fulmer and Dr. Eakes will review your medical conditions and dental history and inquire about your unique needs and concerns as a patient.  After a thorough but painless orthodontic examination, they will review possible treatment options.

During the first appointment, we will address the following questions that cover the basics of orthodontic treatment.  We also encourage you to ask questions.

  • Is there a tooth, jaw, or growth condition that orthodontics can address?
  • Is treatment recommended now, or would it be better to start treatment later, depending on growth or tooth eruption?  If we recommend that treatment be delayed until a later time, we’ll have you return for periodic checks to determine when the best time is to start.
  • What treatments can correct the problem?
  • Would any permanent teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will treatment take?

You can assist us in this initial appointment by bringing the following information:

  • Any panoramic x-rays taken within the last year
  • If you have orthodontic insurance, bring your insurance card
  • A list of current medications
  • Your dentist’s name

Let’s Make A Plan

Following the exam, we may recommend diagnostic records. These records help us compile a detailed treatment plan and starts by taking one or two radiographic (x-ray) images.  These enable us to see what's going on underneath the gums, including the position and growth of bones and joints, and the teeth that are still below the gum line.

We may also take an impression (mold) of the teeth. This lets us make an exact replica of the bite, which helps us understand exactly what the problem is and how best to treat it. If we need to do this, we will ask you (or your child) to bite down on some soft putty-like material for a few moments, then we'll remove it and make the mold in our lab.  We will take photographs of the teeth in their present state as well as facial photographs that help the orthodontist to assess how the teeth and jaws affect facial features.  The doctors carefully analyze how orthodontic treatment can benefit the patient's facial appearance.  Both Dr. Fulmer and Dr. Eakes will review the records and examination and create an individualized orthodontic treatment plan.

Finalizing Your Treatment Plan

After we have a treatment plan, our treatment coordinator will review the details of the plan, including alternatives and options.  The following points will be discussed:

  • How much treatment will cost
  • What payment options are available
  • How long treatment will take
  • What to expect from the appliances or braces that will be used
  • If esthetic braces or clear aligners are good options for your situation
  • Long-term factors to consider about your recommended treatment
  • How your smile and facial esthetics will benefit from treatment
  • Maintaining your results with retainers

We want our patients and their families to leave the consultation appointment with a clear understanding of their specific orthodontic needs and what to expect from treatment.  Our goal is to provide our patients with quality information to help them make the best decisions about their treatment.  Our team is excited about working with you to create a beautiful smile!  Contact us to schedule your first visit.

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