When you are ready for treatment to start, the first step is to take full orthodontic records. This set of records, described in detail below, enables the orthodontist to develop a comprehensive problem list and detailed sequential plan of treatment.
Three to four weeks after the orthodontic records appointment at Westwalk Orthodontic Group, the doctor will sit down with you for a consultation. The consultation typically lasts 30 to 40 minutes, which allows the orthodontist to go over every aspect of the records in detail and explain how each finding would be addressed.
The different components to Orthodontic Records
Pictures will be taken of your upper teeth, lower teeth, and bite.
Pictures will be taken with you smiling, with lips relaxed, and of your profile.
Models of Your Occlusion
In order to evaluate the bite relationship, impressions (or molds) are taken of your upper and lower teeth. Also, a bite registration is taken, typically using a piece of wax, to articulate the upper and lower models.
Another option is to take a digital intraoral scan of your top and bottom teeth to create a digital rendering of the occlusion. Physical models can then be made from the digital file using a 3D printer, if needed.
Digital Panorex Radiograph
A digital Panorex radiograph allows the orthodontist to evaluate the eruption of the adult teeth and loss or resorption of any baby teeth. A Panorex also allows the doctor to check for any missing teeth, ectopic eruptions, impactions, tooth malformations, and potential pathological lesions.
Cavities are sometimes visible on a Panorex radiograph, but bite-wing and periapical radiographs, taken routinely by a pediatric or general dentist, offer superior diagnostic capabilities for detecting potential cavities.
Digital Lateral Cephalometric Radiograph (Lateral Ceph)
A lateral cephalometric radiograph enables the orthodontist to evaluate the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) relative to each other and to the base of the skull. From the radiograph, the orthodontist can assess a skeletal discrepancy between the two jaws in the sagittal plane and project any future growth.
Digital Posterior-Anterior Cephalometric Radiograph (PA Ceph)
A PA ceph is taken to evaluate the transverse (width) dimensions of the upper and lower jaw, to evaluate for any skeletal constrictions or asymmetries.