How Do Orthodontists Create a Treatment Plan for Each Patient?

When we work with kids, we have to take a lot of special considerations to ensure that they are well catered to during orthodontic treatment. Our awesome team at Ivy City Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics will answer this question: How do orthodontists create a custom treatment plan for each patient?

Who We Are

Did you know that orthodontists are actually dental specialists? Typically, a general dentist will be the one to refer our young patients to us. As pediatric orthodontists, we’re experts in treating issues in kids that usually revolve around tooth or jaw alignment. Here are a few reasons you might receive a referral: 

  • Malocclusion
  • Crowding
  • Spacing Issues
  • Impacted Teeth
  • Crooked Teeth

Our Three Treatment Options

There are three types of aligning treatments in almost every practice. Once Dr. Caldwell has decided which of these is the right fit for your child or teen, he will proceed to create a comprehensive treatment plan.

  • Metal braces are a hugely dependable option that have been used for decades to treat patients of all ages. One advantage for many kids is their fun, customizable colors.
  • Clear braces, also known as ceramic braces, are popular for their ability to match the patient’s tooth color, creating a natural look. Teenagers tend to be more focused on aesthetics, so these can be a great option.
  • We are happy to provide Invisalign in our office, which is one of the most subtle, natural-looking options on the market.
How Do Orthodontists Create a Treatment Plan for Each Patient?

Making It Happen

Given that everyone’s smile is different, their customized treatment plans can also vary a bit. But in the majority of cases, we’ll see common traits in our planning process. 

  1. Initial Consultation: This stage involves taking x-rays, impressions, and other records of the patient’s mouth to get a thorough idea of their condition.
  2. Diagnosis: In this step, we meticulously analyze the gathered information to identify specific dental issues requiring correction, such as misalignments or overcrowding.
  3. Treatment Options/Planning: Once we’ve established a diagnosis, we can explore various treatment options with you, addressing questions and delving into the pros and cons of each potential choice. Should the patient have more severe issues, we can investigate specialized treatment options.
  4. Final Discussions: Dr. Caldwell will present a comprehensive plan that outlines all necessary procedures and covers the duration of treatment and possible challenges.
  5. Financial Planning: At Ivy City, we are committed to making treatment accessible for families. Insurance coverage and overall cost can be discussed at length to find the best possible payment plan for your child.
  6. Initiation of Treatment: We’ll start the chosen treatment, which may mean applying long-term braces or distributing Invisalign trays. 
  7. Monitoring and Adjustments: Consistent visits to our office are vital to every kid’s treatment. We are able to monitor progress, make adjustments to orthodontic appliances, and address any needed repairs. We are also always your resource for potential emergencies, like damage or injury—unless it first requires emergency medical care. 
  8. Completion and Retention: Completing the active phase of your treatment means transitioning to the stage where retainers are used to maintain successful results.
  9. Follow-Up Care: We’ll arrange for periodic follow-up appointments to ensure the stability of your child’s new smile and fight any potential relapse. We want to pay special attention to their continued oral health after their treatment has concluded.

Key Considerations

There are a lot of variables to consider, of course, but here are a few additional factors we keep in mind when planning:

  • Age of Patient: Orthodontic treatment is applicable to individuals of all age groups, yet the approach varies among children and teenagers as opposed to adults. When working with young patients, their comfort and compliance are a top priority. Our collaboration extends closely to you—parents and guardians, overseeing and supporting your child’s orthodontic experience outside of our office.
  • Patient Preferences: For children in particular, there isn’t always room for preference. Certain conditions may simply necessitate traditional braces, even if the patient expresses a preference for an option like Invisalign. In this scenario, ceramic braces might serve as an ideal middle ground.
  • Effective Communication: We cannot overstate the importance of communication. Imagine we give your teenager their initial set of Invisalign trays and then refuse to answer your calls! Our commitment is to work closely with your family throughout their entire journey.
How Do Orthodontists Create a Treatment Plan for Each Patient?

Taking Your Next Steps

As you can see, there is no better place to go for your child’s orthodontic treatment! Every step of the way, our team makes sure their individual needs are met with excellence. At Ivy City Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we are proud to serve the Washington D.C. area, and you can reach us at 202-953-0171.