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7 Questions to Ask at Your Orthodontic Consultation

New Braces Consultation Lakeland Florida

Wondering if your child needs braces? Or maybe you’re considering Invisalign or other orthodontic treatment for yourself? Curious how to pick the best orthodontist for your treatment?

Most orthodontists offer a free consultation appointment where they will take X-rays and assess the patient’s teeth, explain treatment options, outline the treatment timeline, and discuss the cost and payment plans. Below you’ll find a summary of what to expect at a consultation appointment and 7 questions to ask the orthodontist.

I knew that my oldest son would need braces after his first few adult teeth grew in, but I wasn’t sure how or when to start the process. During our free consultation at Scott Orthodontics, I took a list of questions and made notes during our visit so I could share my experience with other parents.

Scott Orthodontics is also a Lakeland Mom partner and we appreciate them sharing their knowledge and helpful tips with our readers.

Our Orthodontic Consultation at Scott Orthodontics

• After we checked in, they took my son back for X-rays and photos.

• Then Dr. Jon Scott met with my son and me. He spent 15-20 minutes walking both of us through what to expect with braces, showing us the X-rays {fascinating!} and talking about the medical benefits of orthodontic treatment and why the proper alignment of teeth matters. We also talked about Invisalign as an option, but I knew that traditional braces were a better choice for my son.

Scott Orthodontist Lakeland Florida
Our Consultation

• I had a LOT of questions (listed below) and he never made me feel rushed or like any question was silly. My son also had a few questions of his own.

• The X-rays showed a wisdom tooth blocking a molar from coming in that wouldn’t resolve on its own. This was really hard to see on the X-ray and not something our dentist had ever mentioned. I was thankful Dr. Scott found it so we could visit an oral surgeon before getting braces.

• Dr. Scott talked with my son about brushing his teeth and keeping them clean. They took close-up photos to show him where he hadn’t been brushing, and talked about how braces make it even harder to keep teeth clean. Dr. Scott told him he had to demonstrate that he can take better care of his teeth before he could get braces. (I was thankful to have someone else tell him why it matters since I often feel like a broken record! I’m happy to report that he started setting a timer for 2 minutes and brushing twice a day).

• The Treatment Coordinator went over the cost and the available payment plans. I was happy to find out that the price is comprehensive and covers everything including the retainer at the end. There is also a monthly payment option without any interest, or a discount for a lump sum payment. The cost of treatment varies for each patient depending on the complexity of the case, the type and the length of treatment.

• There was no pressure to make a decision right then and there. They provided a folder full of information for me to take home to read and discuss with my husband.

• The entire consultation was FREE including X-rays and photos.

Keep in mind that this was my personal experience and no two consultations or treatment plans are identical. You might have a 7-year-old that needs treatment now to create space for all his adult teeth to grow into place. You might have a 14-year-old daughter who is responsible enough for Invisalign. That is why these free consultations are really helpful to assess your or your child’s specific needs and give you an idea of what to expect during orthodontic treatment.

Scott Orthodontist Lakeland Florida (2)
They showed my son where he needs to focus on brushing his teeth

Questions I asked at our Orthodontic Consultation

Based on input from moms and dads who have gone before me, I took a list of questions with me to the appointment with Dr. Scott.

All of these questions have a specific answer for each individual patient, and each office is different, so be sure to ask the orthodontist you are considering using. Don’t go off what your sister/friend/neighbor told you.

  • What is the right age to start treatment?
  • What types of treatment are available? What is included in each one? (metal braces, clear braces, retainers, Invisalign, and others)
  • How often will he/she/I have appointments?
  • How long do appointments take?
  • Will our appointments be in the afternoon or will he/she miss school in the morning?
  • How much will treatment cost? Does my insurance cover any portion of the treatment?
  • What is included in that cost? Will I pay more if treatment runs longer than expected or something comes loose?
Scott Orthodontics Lakeland Florida Braces (2) (1)
Private Consultation Room

A few other things I found interesting

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children should be screened by an orthodontic specialist by age 7! This doesn’t mean you’ll start any treatment at that age, but they can detect issues such as crowding, overbites, underbites, etc. Early detection can help make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Your child might visit at age 7 and not go back for treatment for 3-4+ years.

I assumed our dentist would let us know if we needed to see the orthodontist {and she did} but Dr. Scott said this isn’t always the case. If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth or your own teeth, you can always book an appointment directly with an orthodontist without a referral.

Orthodontic Consultations

I walked away feeling so much more informed about my son’s teeth, what kind of treatment he needed, why it matters for his jaw and teeth alignment, how long it will take, etc. It was REALLY informative. Most local orthodontists do a free consultation and some friends have told me they went for consultations with 2 or 3 orthodontists before making a decision.

We picked Scott Orthodontics because of numerous friends who have gotten braces and orthodontic treatment there and praise both Dr. Jon Scott and Dr. Greg Scott, the staff, and the prompt and friendly service. They have been treating patients in Lakeland for more than 30 years and consistently receive great reviews.

If you’re considering braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontic treatment for yourself or your son or daughter, book a free consultation today to learn more!

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Check out our Health and Wellness Guide for Lakeland + Polk County to find dentists, orthodontists, doctors, hospitals, mental health, and learn more about health care options in our community.