The start of the braces process generally begins after the patient and parents have met with the orthodontist for a new patient exam, and have decided that treatment is necessary. Now that all of the preparation and planning is finished, (and you have signed over your life jk), it is time to start with the braces treatment. The next step in this process is typically an appointment for orthodontic records.
The records are a vital important part of the treatment process. Not only will they provide the orthodontist with information to make an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan, but it helps to check progression.
The orthodontic records are usually comprised of the following: panoramic x-ray (pano), cephalometric x-ray (ceph), facial and dental photographs, impression also known as “molds” of your teeth, and a wax bite.
A panoramic x-ray is vital to fully visualize the entire upper and lower teeth and jaws. This x-ray is painless, fast and easy. It gives the orthodontist information about the jaw bone, roots, jaw joint, as well as evaluating for the presence of extra teeth, impacted teeth, or missing teeth.
A cephalometric x-ray is another x-ray taken during the records appointment. This x-ray provides important profile information regarding the position of the jaws and front teeth, as well as providing a baseline starting point to monitor growth in younger patients.
Facial and dental photographs show the orthodontist facial structures, malformations, soft tissue, the development of the oral cavity as well as other aspects of mandibular and maxillofacial formations.
Models of the teeth are made by taking impressions or molds of the upper and lower teeth. The models of the teeth are vital for the orthodontist during the treatment planning process. To make the models, a clinical assistant will make an impression of the teeth by placing a soft alginate material in a tray, placing the tray in the mouth, and then waiting about one minute while the material sets up.
The alginate feels very similar to pudding or mashed potatoes consistency when it is first placed in the mouth. Once it starts to set up, it becomes a more rubbery consistency. Following this plaster is poured into the impression. The plaster model is then trimmed by the orthodontist to show how the teeth bite together.
Now your orthodontic records are complete! Let the fun really begin =).
For more information and to schedule your New Patient Exam, visit us at Burleson Orthodontics.
Kim Bui born and raised in Kansas City, graduated from high school at St. Teresa’s Academy and college at Rockhurst University. Now Kim is persuing her masters in Business. With her charisma, Kim welcomes every patient with a smile and willingness to make their experience something to rave about.