First Visit

What to Expect at Your First Visit

Your first appointment will consist of an examination and discussion of potential treatment options. During the initial examination we can address the following questions. We encourage you to ask questions as well.

  • Is there a condition that orthodontics can address?
  • Is treatment needed now or should it be delayed until appropriate growth or tooth eruption?
  • What treatment procedures will be used to correct the problem?
  • Do any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What are my payment options?

Please assist us by bringing the following information at the time of your first visit:

  • Any panoramic x-ray taken within the last 6 months
  • If you have dental insurance, bring your insurance card. This information will help us give you an estimate of your costs.

Before active treatment starts, Dr. Dow will make a detailed study of your bite. These are called diagnostic records. We will take x-rays, photographs, and take impressions of your mouth. This information will allow us to develop the best treatment plan for you.

  • Impressions - These are sometimes called "molds". They are taken of your upper and lower teeth by pressing a soft material over your teeth and allowing it to harden. This takes less than 1 minute.
  • Photographs will be taken of your face and teeth. They help diagnose your treatment needs.
  • X-rays: We take digital x-rays of your jaws and teeth. They are used to measure your teeth and jaws and help plan your treatment.

Separators: About a week before you get your braces we may put separators (also known as spacers or "seps") between your back teeth. These are small elastics that fit between the teeth. They help move the teeth slightly apart so that there's room to put the bands on. Some things to keep in mind with the separators:

  • Do not floss between teeth where there is a spacer, but be sure to floss between all the other teeth.
  • Don't eat anything sticky or chewy with the spacers.
  • If a spacer falls out please call the office; it may not need to be replaced.

Patient Forms

Please print and fill out the appropriate form prior to your first visit.