Posted on February 16, 2022

Here’s What to Expect at Your First Orthodontic Visit

It’s human nature to fear the unknown, so there can be a lot of nervousness going into your first orthodontist appointment. Rest assured, there is nothing to worry about, so you won’t need to “brace” yourself.

Whether you visit our Parker or Castle Rock location, the information below should help calm your mind and make your first visit seamless.

What Do You Need to Do Before Your First Orthodontist Appointment?

Your first orthodontist appointment is usually the longest. It’s when your information gets put into the system, and you get the lay of the land.

Before your first appointment, you will need to request one – you can request an appointment online or give us a call at either location.

You should arrive about 15 minutes early for your first appointment to fill out the required paperwork. You’ll need to bring some form of identification and your insurance card.

What To Expect at Your First Orthodontist Appointment

Knowing what to expect at your first orthodontic appointment can reduce a lot of stress. The process is generally the same, regardless of the orthodontic treatment you come in for.

After we have all of the information we need from you, here’s how your first visit will go.


Before we can make a treatment plan, we will perform a thorough dental exam. During the exam, we will take x-rays, photos, and do a bite test.

We will also look for any issues with your teeth and gums that need to be addressed before starting orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth.

Recommendation for Additional Work or Appliances

If any issues are found during the exam, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist for your needs.

Sometimes patients come in with cracked teeth or cavities that need to be addressed before orthodontic treatment can start.

What’s more, some patients have jaw misalignment that requires more correction than braces or clear aligners alone can do. If this is the case, you may benefit from an Herbst oral appliance or orthodontic headgear.

Tooth Impressions

If you need any work done before orthodontic treatment, we will take impressions of your teeth to accurately map your treatment plan. No two bites are the same, so taking a dental impression allows us to create a precise dental plan.

With today’s advances in technology, most of our impressions are actually digital by using our state-of-the-art iTero scanner. That means that many of our patients don’t need to get the mouthful of “goop”. The scanner sends a digital image to our labs that can fabricate a 3-D printed model.

Advanced Imaging Software

If your orthodontic treatment plan involves clear aligners instead of braces, we will also take a comprehensive digital scan of your teeth. The imaging software helps Dr. Struhs create your personalized treatment plan and lets the dental lab know exactly how your aligners need to be created.

Treatment Overview

When a treatment plan is established, we will go over it with you in detail. At this stage, you will find out approximately how long your treatment will take and how much it will cost. We will also cover your available insurance benefits and financing plans if needed.

Will You Get Braces on the First Appointment?

If no preliminary work is necessary, you could get your braces (and any other necessary equipment) on the first appointment.

Not everyone gets braces installed during their initial visit, though. You will likely need to book a follow-up appointment to get your braces installed.

Once everything is installed, Dr. Struhs will go over proper care instructions so you don’t damage your braces or teeth.

What Happens After Your First Appointment?

After your first orthodontist appointment, you will need to come back regularly throughout your treatment. The following appointments are to tighten or change the components of your braces. These visits will be every five-to-eight weeks.

If you’re receiving other types of orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign® or SureSmile Clear Aligners, we will have to wait for the custom-made aligners to be delivered. During those treatment plans, you will also have regular visits to the orthodontist to make sure your teeth are moving as intended, and that the next aligner will fit properly.

Get a Smile You’ll Love With 20 Mile Orthodontics

With convenient locations in Parker and Castle Rock, CO, we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

Start your journey today with a FREE consultation by calling or requesting an appointment online.

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