First Visit: Initial Examination
In this visit, Dr. Kothari evaluates the patient's orthodontic needs to determine the best time to begin orthodontic treatment. In order to make a diagnosis, a complete examination is necessary to determine:
- The severity of the problem
- The length of treatment time
- Approximate cost of treatment
- Anticipated results
Second Visit: Orthodontic Records
Impressions for diagnostic models (plaster records of the teeth) are made. Panoramic and cephalogram x-rays are taken to allow Dr. Kothari to measure facial patterns, growth and future development. This exposure is done with ultra-fast film and with a minimum radiation exposure time. Color photographs of the face and teeth are taken of the patient before treatment starts. This visit usually takes one hour.
Following this appointment, Dr. Kothari prepares a tracing by hand using the cephalometric x-ray to determine the optimal treatment plan. A sample tracing is shown on the left.
Third Visit: Consultation
A detailed explanation of the records, diagnosis and treatment plan is presented to the patient or their guardians. Questions regarding treatment cost, insurance, methods of payment and any other pertinent questions will be covered during this visit.
In the next appointment, we initiate treatment and place the braces using the indirect bonding technique.
Fourth Visit: Braces Placement
- Placement day: The placement of braces will not be painful. It may take longer to eat meals, but this is largely because it takes some time to adjust to wearing the braces. In some cases, the teeth may feel more sensitive than usual. Hard, difficult to chew foods should be avoided in favor of a softer, more liquid-based diet for the first few days after placement of braces.
- Two days after placement: The first several days after the braces have been placed may be uncomfortable because the teeth are beginning to move and are not used to the pressure of the archwire and orthodontic elastic bands. You will receive relief wax to apply over the braces as necessary. Wax helps provide a smooth surface and alleviates irritation on the inner cheeks and lips. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medication may be taken as directed to relieve mild soreness.
- Five days after placement: After five days, any initial discomfort associated with the braces should be gone. The teeth will have gradually acclimated to the braces, and eating should be much easier. Normal eating should resume but hard foods should still be avoided.
- Regular appointments will start so that Dr. Kothari can make adjustments and see the treatment progress. Fixed braces work by gradually moving the teeth into a new and proper alignment, so gentle pressure needs to be applied constantly. The first few days after an adjustment may be uncomfortable, but remember that this discomfort is only temporary. Some patients may experience tenderness 15-20 days after orthodontic adjustment as the roots of the teeth move.