The diagnostic records appointment is technically the very first step in the patient’s orthodontic treatment. This is usually the second appointment at our office. Orthodontic diagnostic records are an evaluation and diagnostic tool that Dr. Hohl uses to determine the patient’s orthodontic needs. The diagnostic records provide a wealth of information that is not always revealed by the initial visual clinical examination.
Diagnostic records are obtained to document the patient’s orthodontic problem and to help determine the best course of treatment. The most common types of records are a panoramic and cephalometric x-ray, photographs, and plaster study models. If you choose Invisalign for your treatment, those impressions will also be taken.
In just a few months of wearing your braces you begin to see changes in how your teeth look at bite together. Having an initial set of baseline records of your teeth will be helpful in determining the progress of your treatment. Once you have completed treatment, post-treatment records will be obtained so as to evaluate the final treatment outcome and to make any additional treatment recommendations if necessary.
During your diagnostic records appointment separators may be placed. Separators are little rubber circles placed in between your teeth to either move a tooth upward or to help create space to fit a band around the tooth. When you have separators placed in the mouth it is common to feel pressure on the opposing teeth and to feel discomfort for a few hours. We recommend that you use an over the counter medication if needed. There are certain foods you want to avoid with your separators in place such as sticky and hard crunchy foods. Sometimes as the teeth move, the separator will fall out; call our office the next business day if you cannot get the spacer placed back in the mouth. Examples of situations where separators may be placed are: teeth with crowns or large fillings, patients who will be undergoing jaw surgery, palatal expanders, lingual holding arches, nance appliances or transpalatal arch appliances.