Treatment Stages

Examination

Orthodontics has changed a lot since we were kids. Your initial examination is focused on diagnosing your individual orthodontic problem and discussing treatment options that apply to your particular needs. Orthodontics is not for everyone. Sometimes, weighing the pros and cons is the best way to make an informed decision. Our job is to give you an understanding of your orthodontic problem and its various solutions so that you can decide on the correct course of action. We do not take mandatory orthodontic x-rays as part of our examination. Diagnostic records are only prescribed if treatment is indicated and you decide to pursue treatment.

   

Diagnostic Records

If it is determined at the examination appointment that treatment is indicated, you will be scheduled for diagnostic records. These records usually consist of photographs and a single orthodontic x-ray scan. Because of our state of the art 3D x-ray machine, no dental impressions are necessary. We create a 3-D computer model of your teeth and jaws from a single 8.9 second scan. Dr. Carlson then uses the latest in medical and dental 3D imaging software (Anatomage) to create an orthodontic treatment plan that is remarkably detailed and specially tailored to your individual needs.

   

Treatment Consultation                            

Once your records have been studied by Dr. Carlson, a treatment plan will be designed where the most appropriate treatment goals are targeted and the best methods for achieving these goals are outlined. We will then schedule a consultation appointment with you.

At this appointment, you and Dr. Carlson will discuss the diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations. This review usually takes about a half an hour. It is very important that you understand the treatment goals and agree with the treatment approach before orthodontics begins. Too often, patients know very little about their orthodontic care. Our goal is to maximize the communication between our patients and us. When patients know more about what we are doing and why, we find treatment goes much faster. The treatment consultation stage is the first step in that direction.

   

Active Treatment

Periodic visits are an important part of orthodontic treatment. During treatment, we will generally want to see you every 4-8 weeks to check your progress and make adjustments to your braces. During this time, you will need to keep appointments, follow all instructions as well as practice good oral hygiene and proper nutrition. You will also need to continue to visit your dentist regularly. 

   

Retention                             

Retention is one of the most overlooked areas in orthodontics. We believe this stage is just as crucial as the active treatment stage. Usually, retention involves wearing orthodontics retainers only at nighttime. However, our goal is to keep your teeth straight forever. We prescribe retainers with that in mind.