The Initial Orthodontic Consultation: What To Expect

If you are considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, it is important to have an initial consultation with the orthodontist first. This will give the orthodontist a chance to get to know you, assess the situation, and recommend treatment options. It will also give you a chance to find out information that may affect your decision, like the expected overall cost and length of treatment, as well as an opportunity to ask questions before you make your decision. The initial consultation is so significant that many orthodontists will provide it for free.


Patient data will help the orthodontist to make a thorough assessment and recommend appropriate treatment options. You will likely be asked to fill out paperwork regarding the medical and dental history of the patient, whether you or your child.


The orthodontist will likely take a look inside your mouth or the mouth of your child to see what’s going on firsthand. If you or your child have already had x-rays or impressions done recently, the orthodontist may ask to see them. If not, he or she may take new x-rays.

In some cases, routine x-rays may be sufficient. However, it may be that your orthodontist requires additional views. If that’s the case, he or she may perform more x-rays. For example, you or your child may receive a panoramic x-ray, which produces a picture of both jaws and all the teeth with a camera that circles around the head.


Once the orthodontist has the necessary information, he or she will discuss treatment options with you. Traditional braces are only one of several options that may be discussed. In some cases, they may not be necessary, or there may be an alternative like Invisalign available. The orthodontist should discuss all the options with you, including how long each treatment course should take.

Financial Options

To make an informed decision, you will need to know how much the treatment will cost and what financing options are available. Orthodontists understand that braces are expensive and usually have some sort of payment plan available. Some insurance plans also provide coverage for orthodontic treatment, especially for children. This is something to discuss with both your orthodontist and your insurance company.

Additional Questions

The initial consultation is an opportunity to ask other questions regarding orthodontic treatment. You should inquire about anything the orthodontist does not cover, but here are some suggestions:

  • Brushing and flossing
  • Foods to avoid
  • Expected pain/discomfort
  • Accommodations for sports or other activities
  • Speech changes
  • Necessity of headgear

You can ask your dentist for a referral to an orthodontist, like an orthodontist in Dana Point, CA, or you can choose one on your own. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.

Thank you to the experts at John Redmond Orthodontics for their input into orthodontic care.