Did you know that no one has the exact same smile? Our teeth, like any parts of our body, are entirely our own—and this needs to be considered when they are being treated! Today, our team at Smiles from the Hart will answer the question: How do orthodontists create a custom treatment plan for each patient?
What Do Orthodontists Do?
Whereas dentists treat general oral health, orthodontists are specialists. Dr. Hart primarily focuses on the alignment of teeth and jaws in patients of all ages. Here are a few common reasons you might receive a referral from your general dentist:
- Impacted Teeth
- Crooked Teeth
- Spacing Issues
Types of Treatment
As a general rule, there are three main types of aligning treatments. More specialized issues can require other appliances, but most of our patients fall under this umbrella. Once we’ve decided which of these is the right fit for you, we’ll proceed to devise a treatment plan.
- Metal braces are historically the first choice for young children, but they are just as often recommended for teens and adults, and their duration can vary, averaging around 18-22 months.
- Clear braces serve the same purpose as metal braces, but the brackets blend more seamlessly with the natural color of your teeth.
- Many offices like ours offer Invisalign, which are popular removable aligners that move your teeth over time without showing obvious evidence.
A Typical Treatment Plan
No one’s process will be just alike, but we can still give you an idea of what to expect in many situations since many of the steps remain consistent.
- Initial Assessment: This time is focused on your teeth, jaws, and facial structure. We record this data using x-ray imaging and impressions.
- Diagnosis: Issues such as misalignments or overcrowding can be thoroughly explained at this point by showing you the collected images.
- Treatment Options/Planning: Treatment options are always discussed with patients in-depth. Since we are experts in our own category of dentistry, we can answer any detailed questions you may have.
- Final Discussions: We will lay out a plan of the procedures needed, a general timeline, and guidelines to follow.
- Financial Planning: We are dedicated to ensuring that payment plans are discussed in advance. Be sure to do your own research: Ensure that our office is in-network with your dental insurance, if you have it, to help potentially lower costs. But the best way to get an accurate estimate is to schedule a consultation.
- Initiation of Treatment: This will either be the distribution of clear aligners or the installation of traditional braces.
- Monitoring and Adjustments: Orthodontic treatments involve regular appointments to adjust devices and address any issues that arise.
- Completion and Retention: A retainer is the last step in most alignment treatments to maintain your results, as directed by Dr. Hart.
- Follow-Up Care: And just like any other medical professional, your doctors will stay in touch with you—especially in the weeks and months directly after you complete treatment.
The following are some other independent factors that we will take note of in our custom planning process.
- Age of Patient: All ages are eligible for some manner of orthodontic treatment, but the methods of said treatment are hugely dependent on the age of the patient. Adults tend to be more responsible and can be relied upon to maintain decent oral hygiene, whereas kids need to be monitored by parents.
- Medical History: Your doctor will always pay close attention to your medical history, especially regarding anything that could directly affect your treatment, such as disorders or prescription medications.
- Patient Preferences: There is room for individual preferences in many aspects of orthodontics. For example, braces can be customized into various colors, a point of pride and expression for many young patients. Adults may be determined to achieve discreteness, making Invisalign the top choice.
- Effective Communication: This applies to every single aspect of the dental field: You must communicate with your doctor. If you aren’t present in our office, we won’t be able to address challenges. If you don’t ask us questions, we cannot know if you’re curious. Always speak up if you are facing discomfort or pain; your orthodontist wants to avoid that as much as you do.
Straight to the Point!
So, as you can see, at Smiles from the Hart, we take a lot of measures to ensure every single person who comes into our office is treated with individual care and consideration. We are so grateful to be able to serve communities in Middle Tennessee. Please contact either of our offices: Murfreesboro (615-890-7246) or Gallatin (615-452-2868).