Ask These Questions to Your Orthodontist Before Starting Any Dental Treatment
At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we know that no one wants to go to their orthodontic treatment completely blind. The good thing is your orthodontist doesn’t want it either. That’s why you shouldn’t shy away from asking questions. Make sure to ask the following questions to your orthodontist before starting any sort of dental treatment.
1. What options do I have? – While this one is a broad question, it would help you narrow down the treatments that align with your preferences, needs and compliance. Depending on the problems you are trying to get fixed, you may have several options available to you. Your orthodontist would consult you to figure out the treatment that’s best and quickest for you and recommend the same. However, you always have the final say.
For instance, your orthodontist may recommend braces to fix your bite and straighten your teeth. However, if you’re self-conscious about wearing braces and how they may make you look, you may opt for clear aligners. Clear aligners have become very popular over the past decade since they are more discreet compared to braces, to the point of being almost invisible. If clear aligners are out of your budget, there are braces that are made from materials that are transparent or tooth coloured so that they can be more discreet. That’s why it’s important to assess your options and discuss them with your orthodontist.
2. Do I need to make any lifestyle changes after this treatment? – Orthodontic treatments usually come with a few changes in your lifestyle. That’s why it’s essential to be thorough with your orthodontist and figure out the lifestyle changes that are necessary to reap the highest rewards from the treatment. These lifestyle changes usually include your dental hygiene regimen, the food and drinks you consume, and other such changes so that you can stretch the mileage out of your treatment. Your orthodontist would go through the precautions you need to take and the changes you need to make.
However, it doesn’t hurt to be thorough with it and clear all your doubts in your mind. For instance, you may ask about the sports you can play, create a list of your favourite foods and check the things that you’re allowed to eat and more such queries that affect you. Don’t leave anything behind. When it comes to the changes in your dental hygiene regimen, you may need to brush and floss more thoroughly and take care of your aligners or braces. Orthodontic treatments usually cost thousands of dollars and are aimed to provide a lifetime of better oral health. That’s why you need to make sure that you get the most out of your treatment.
3. Could you show me similar cases as mine? – Even if it’s just to put yourself at ease, ask the orthodontist for videos, pictures, scans and other examples of previous cases they have treated successfully in the past. Orthodontists usually have several examples of similar cases and would be happy to provide it to make you more comfortable with the treatment and assure you that you’re in good hands. That’s why there’s no need to be shy about asking this question. Once you go over examples of similar cases, remind yourself that every patient is different and the same and no two cases are absolutely identical.
Even if you spot an example with very similar dental irregularities, it doesn’t mean the treatment that was used for them is suitable for you. Every orthodontic treatment is highly customized according to the unique needs of the patient. Even if two cases are exactly identical, you may be recommended a different treatment due to newer, better and more reliable technology. Treat examples of similar cases as a point of reference. They aren’t your final treatment plan. These examples will help you picture your smile and oral health after the treatment and would act as motivation to keep you on track.
4. Is the treatment lengthy? – Before an orthodontic treatment, you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally for everything. While not all orthodontic treatments take a long time, you should be prepared to stick to the treatment for as long as it takes to meet your goals and achieve your dream smile. The average length of orthodontic treatments is usually 2 years. Consult with your orthodontist about the treatment for a general timeline.
While the timeline is never exact, your orthodontist would try to provide the best estimation. Treatments may vary and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For instance, after a few months of treatment, your orthodontist may notice that your jaw or teeth are moving in unexpected directions and make adjustments to the treatment to get you back on track. Think of it as an expert monitoring your treatment closely and providing you with the best treatment at a pace you can work with. Unless you have a relatively straight smile that needs minute corrections, expect the treatment to go on for around 2 years or a bit more.
5. What should I expect from my treatment? – Even if you skip a question or two from this list, never skip this one since it’s very specific to you. Every treatment available to you will deliver fantastic results. Usually, orthodontists are highly trained and don’t do a shoddy job. However, each treatment comes with its own side effects and necessary lifestyle changes.
Your orthodontist would go over the precautions, dental hygiene routine, diet, and other changes that come with the treatment. Every orthodontic treatment will come with a different set of expectations, procedures and routines and it’s important to know exactly what to expect so that you can stick to them all and get the most from your treatment.
At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest that you ask the above-mentioned questions to your orthodontist before the dental treatment. It shows that you take great interest in your oral health and take it very seriously. Educating you about the treatment also makes the orthodontist more comfortable.