Your First Visit to the Orthodontist

The timing of an orthodontic treatment is very important. You or your child may or may not be ready for treatment. That is why we need to perform an examination of your teeth and bite. This will allow us to better understand your needs. Your first appointment at Dudley Smiles will take about one hour. This is an opportunity to meet with us and gather information. We utilize this time to perform a thorough evaluation of your dental and orthodontic issues, take any necessary photographs or x-rays, discuss appropriate orthodontic treatment options and the optimum time to start treatment. We take into account your own concerns, your dental development, and your oral hygiene. If you are not ready to start treatment, we will reevaluate your situation every 6-12 months. For those who are ready to start immediately, for your convenience, we can often start treatment the same day as your consultation!  

Your comfort is our top concern. We want to ensure that you are well informed of the orthodontic process and your particular situation. We make every effort to answer all the questions you may have at your initial visit. Should we need more diagnostic information to be able to determine treatment options, we will recommend taking orthodontic records to adequately provide you with appropriate treatment alternatives. Besides looking in the mouth, we may also ask questions, such as whether the jaw make noise when the mouth is opening or closing, or if there are any problems chewing or swallowing. Taken together, this information will allow us to make a proper diagnosis and finalize our treatment plan at the first visit.

At Dudley Smiles our main objective is to make sure your visits with us are all pleasant and informative. Your initial appointment will consist of an examination and a discussion of potential treatment options. This important visit addresses the orthodontic needs of you or your child.

Diagnostic Records & Treatment Planning

If it is determined that treatment is needed, you may be scheduled for diagnostic records. Often times, we have taken all the records we need during the initial consultation, so your next step is to start treatment.  The records may consist of digital study models, diagnostic photographs, and/or orthodontic radiographs (x-rays). These enable us to see what is going on underneath the gums: the position and growth of bones and joints, and the teeth that are still below the gum line. In some cases, we may also take a digital scan of the teeth. This lets us make an exact replica of the bite, which helps us understand exactly what the problem is and how best to treat it. Once these orthodontic records have been obtained, Dr. Dudley will review them and determine the appropriate treatment options. He will also inform you about your Invisalign treatment options.

Young blonde lady with Invisalign

Successive Visits

Periodic visits are an important part of orthodontic treatment. We like to see you every 6 to 10 weeks to check your progress, to make adjustments to your braces, or deliver your next set of Invisalign aligners.  During this time you will need to keep appointments, follow instructions, eat nutritiously, and practice good oral hygiene.

Once your braces are removed, retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. Patients will return to our office one month after the retention appliance has been delivered. After that appointment, visits will typically take place every three to six months. During the retention appointments, the retainer is examined, adjusted and corrected to ensure proper function. It is important that the patient follow Dr. Dudley’s instructions on wearing the retention appliance in order to prevent relapse. The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected!

Length of Treatment

The length braces may be on varies anywhere between 6 to 30 months. It can possibly go longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation, and the degree of movement possible.

Dental Care

Before any orthodontic treatment, your family dentist should make certain that all cavities have been treated and the health of your gums and underlying bone are free of periodontal disease. Dr. Dudley may prescribe that one or more teeth be removed to eliminate crowding and correct your bite. Your family dentist should also schedule cleaning and cavity check up visits during your orthodontic care.

man doing Financial Paperwork

Financial Information

Orthodontic treatment and braces are an important investment. At Dudley Smiles, we want to make your decision to begin orthodontic treatment affordable. One of our primary goals is to help the average family receive personalized orthodontic care without straining their finances.

For your convenience, we offer a variety of flexible, orthodontic payment plans with no down payment options and low monthly payments. Check with our office staff if you have any questions or would like to obtain more specific information. The team at Dudley Smiles strives to provide affordable orthodontic care for our patients and families.

Upon completion of your limited exam but prior to departure, we will sit down with you to discuss in detail what to expect if you proceed with orthodontic treatment with our enthusiastic team. We enjoy meeting all prospective patients and their families— you are more than just wires and brackets to us! We take the time to develop a treatment plan made just for you. Patient care is a huge priority for the Dudley Smiles team, and giving you the most beautiful, healthy smile is something we are honored to provide. If you are in the Seattle area, stop by one of our two convenient offices or call us today to schedule your initial exam and see why kids love us, and parents trust us!