Before getting started, you will no doubt have plenty of questions for your orthodontist but just in case you don’t or can’t think of all the things you may want to ask, this post will give you some ideas to think about. Prior to getting braces you will probably have a couple of opportunities to speak to your orthodontist and other team members and this is a great time to make sure you fully understand what your treatment may entail and to get a clear picture of what to expect.
During my first visit, I spent around 20 minutes chatting to my orthodontist about what he may be able to do and to get an outline of what the proposed treatment may involve but it was the second, longer visit, during which records were taken, that we really had a good chat and I was able to get all my questions answered. This second visit lasting around an hour and a good half of that time was spent chatting to the staff. I came prepared for the appointment with a list of questions which certainly helped to ensure nothing was overlooked on the day.
Here are some questions to think about.
What is covered by the treatment cost and what is not? Think about breakages, treatment taking longer than planned, retainers, choice of brackets, additional dental work, tooth whitening at the end, additional hygienist appointments.
What payment terms are offered and what happens if, for reasons outside your control, you cannot meet the payments in the future?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment proposed and in particular the type of brackets going to the used?
What happens if my teeth move a lot slower than planned?
How many appointments will I be expected to attend and how frequent are these? What happens at adjustments?
Will I need elastics during my treatment and what is the likely configuration and wear time?
Will I need molar buildups or bite turbos and if so, for how long?
What happens if I break a bracket? How quickly will you be able to see me for it to be repaired? Is this included in the cost?
What other dental work might I need?
What type of retainers do you expect me to have and are these included in the cost?
What outcome do you expect to achieve?
What are the risks of undergoing orthodontic treatment?
How long do you think I will need braces?
If I manage to badly stain an elastic, can I get these replaced before my next appointment?
Will the treatment be carried out by the orthodontist or one of the therapists?
Will I be able to have my braces removed mid treatment for a special occasion? How will this work?
How do we decide when we are finished? What happens if we disagree about the final outcome?
Can I change my choice of brackets during the treatment (e.g. change from metal to ceramic clear brackets) if I’m unhappy with my original choice?
Will my speech be effected by the braces and if so, how can I minimise this?
What should I avoid doing and eating whilst I have braces?
Do you offer appointments in the evening and weekend to minimise the amount of time I need to take off work?
What is the risk of getting ‘white spots’ on my teeth and how can I minimise this?
If you have any more suggestions about great questions to ask, leave a comment below.