Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

First Visit | When and Why

First Visit

Welcome to our office in Alpharetta! We understand that each patient has different health needs, aesthetic goals, and expectations about treatment. We have set aside a special time to discuss these questions regarding you or your child's orthodontic care. After you have scheduled a new patient consultation a welcome packet will be sent to your home. For your first visit, please take the time to complete the new patient form that was sent to you. By completing this form prior to the consultation, we can begin your visit without delay. You may also complete and submit the your new patient form online.

If you do have insurance benefits, please complete the appropriate information on the new patient form regarding your insurance coverage. During the new patient consultation, our insurance coordinator will determine your total amount of benefits and schedule of payments so this information will be available to you before leaving your appointment.

Upon your arrival, you will always be kindly greeted by our receptionists, Sheila or Katy. They will assist you in getting checked in at the patient sign-in terminal and will notify our patient coordinators that you have arrived.

Dunwoody orthodontist

Our patient coordinators, Katy or Jacqui, will greet you in our waiting room and escort you or your child to one of our consultation rooms for your first visit with Dr. Awbrey.

Alpharetta orthodontist

Our patient coordinators will escort you and/or your child to meet Michele our records coordinator to obtain diagnostic records prior to the exam.

Alpharetta orthodontists

After diagnostic records are obtained you will meet Dr. Awbrey to discuss treatment. Because the diagnostic records are obtained at your first visit, Dr. Awbrey is able to obtain basic information regarding any current or potential orthodontic problems. He can then properly address your individual concerns and needs. If treatment is indicated, Dr. Awbrey will:

  • Address the nature of the orthodontic problems
  • Type of orthodontic treatment required
  • Estimated length of treatment time

All information will be conveyed with strong visuals using our state-of-the-art IACT graphic communication system. Once the initial examination has been completed, our treatment coordinator will provide you with:

  • An examination report of problems and recommended treatment
  • Information regarding future appointments
  • The estimated cost of treatment
  • Payment options available through our office
  • And, if you should have orthodontic insurance, determine your maximum benefit prior to leaving the appointment

Please allow approximately one hour for your first visit to our office.

Alpharetta orthodontist

At the end of your appointment Katy or Jacqui will give you a brief tour of our office and introduce you to Krista, our Financial Coordinator.

Alpharetta orthodontist

At the end of your tour you will be introduced to Krista, our Financial Coordinator. Krista will handle all financial arrangements and, as a courtesy, gladly handle all aspects regarding your orthodontic insurance.

Alpharetta orthodontists

If you are satisfied with the proposed treatment plan and financial arrangements and Dr. Awbrey has indicated you or your child is ready to initiate treatment the process of starting orthodontic treatment can begin.

What are Diagnostic Records?

Orthodontic records are obtained at the consultation appointment.

Records confirm Dr. Awbrey's diagnosis and treatment plan and serve as documentation of your teeth, lips and profile when treatment is initiated. Typical records include the following:

Panoramic Radiograph

A Panoramic Radiograph reveals the position of both erupted and unerupted teeth, missing or extra teeth, general condition of bone and supporting tissue, and any possible decay.

Cephalometric Radiograph

The Cephalometric Radiograph is a lateral (side) picture of the head. This picture is traced and measured to illustrate the outline of the nose, lips and chin; how the upper and lower jaw is related to the head; and how the front teeth are related to each jaw.


Cephalometric Radiograph

Extraoral Photos

The extraoral photos consist of a relaxed and a smiling frontal picture of the face and a lateral profile. The pictures help evaluate facial balance and soft tissue contours.


Extraoral Photos

Intraoral Photos

Intraoral photos help evaluate the appearance and condition of the enamel and gingival tissues.


Intraoral Photos

What will be the length of treatment?

The length of treatment varies from patient to patient. It depends on the severity of the bite, the degree of correction, age and the level of cooperation achieved. However, most cases are completed within 16-22 months. We are constantly reviewing treatment progress and make an effort at each appointment to give you an update regarding you or your child's treatment status.

What if treatment is not recommended at the first appointment?

If treatment is not indicated, a recall appointment will be scheduled at either 6 to 12 months to monitor the child's growth and dental development. Ninety-five percent of children seen in Dr. Awbrey's practice should be monitored until the majority of permanent teeth have erupted before initiating orthodontic therapy. This protocol limits the child to one phase of orthodontic treatment and reduces both the total treatment time and the cost of orthodontic treatment.

What is my responsibility once the braces have been put on?

We remain in close communication with your regular dentist. It is necessary that check-ups and cleanings continue to be scheduled throughout orthodontic treatment every six months.

The patient must also maintain regular visits to our office throughout your orthodontic treatment. These are usually scheduled every 8 to 10 weeks to monitor your progress, check your hygiene, and adjust your braces.

Orthodontics is very different from medicine or general dentistry. The orthodontist and the staff cannot do all the work for you. Successful treatment is a team effort: patients, parents, staff and the orthodontist working together. The rewards are your pleasing smile, healthy teeth and your glow of new confidence.

Back to Top

 

When and Why

Does my child need to see an Orthodontist?

Most malocclusions can be treated effectively once the majority of the baby teeth have been lost. However it is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that a child's first evaluation by an orthodontic specialist be done around the age of 7. If you or your family dentist suspects an orthodontic problem before age 7, an orthodontic specialist should be contacted for an earlier evaluation.

During this period, concerns associated with crowding, undesirable habits, and disproportionate jaw growth, may first need to be addressed. Other problems associated with tooth alignment or bite correction may best be addressed subsequent to the eruption of most permanent teeth.

The following are indications that an orthodontic problem may be present.

  • Crowded Teeth
  • Early Loss of Teeth
  • Underbite
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Thumb and Finger Habits
  • Missing Teeth
  • Protrusion of Front Teeth
  • Crossbites
  • Speech Difficulties
  • Poor Facial Profile
  • Low Self-Esteem from Teeth Misalignment

These are just a few of the early indications that orthodontic problems may exist.

What are the benefits of Timely Treatment?

  • Improve self-confidence and self esteem
  • Influence growth of the jaws to improve tooth relationship
  • Increase the width of the dental arches
  • Reduce the need for extractions
  • Reduce the likelihood of future jaw surgery
  • Reduce the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Eliminate harmful oral habits
  • Reduce the treatment time for future orthodontics
  • Improve speech development
  • Guide the permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Improve lip closure
  • Gain space for erupting permanent teeth
  • Better cooperation before teenage years
  • To prevent unbalanced or asymmetric facial growth