orthodontic study records appointment:


The records appointment is technically, the very first step in the patient’s orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic Diagnostic Record is an evaluation and diagnostic tool that Dr. Patel uses to determine the patients orthodontic needs. The Diagnostic Records provides a wealth of information that is not always revealed by a visual clinical examination.

Diagnostic records are made to document the patient’s orthodontic problem and to help determine the best course of treatment. As orthodontic treatment will create many changes, these records are also helpful in determining progress of treatment with post-treatment records taken to evaluate the final treatment outcomes and making any other treatment recommendations.

Complete diagnostic records typically include a medical history, a dental and orthodontic history, clinical examination, plaster study models of the teeth, photographs of the patient’s face and teeth, a panoramic or other x-rays of all the teeth, a facial profile x-ray (cephalometric film), and other appropriate x-rays. This information is used to plan the best course of treatment and help explain the orthodontic problem(s) and propose treatment to the patient and/or parent(s) of a minor child.

Dr. Patel will study these records to determine how the teeth and the jaw bones are positioned and will finalize your customized complete orthodontic treatment plan for your individual case.

Our records appointment involves a multi-step procedure(s):


Clinical Examination: We thoroughly exam the face, jaw alignment, teeth, occlusion (“bite”), the dental condition(s); the relationship of the teeth and their skeletal structures.


A cephalogram (“a full lateral skull x-ray of the patient’s profile”) is taken. The cephalogram details the patient’s dental occlusion (“bite”) and the relationship between the occlusion and the related skeletal structures. This x-ray also helps us view the soft tissue such as the lips, nose and the chin position as it relates to facial appearance. The cephalometric film shows the facial form, growth pattern, and inclination of the front teeth (if teeth are tipped or tilted), which are essential in planning comprehensive treatment. This x-ray is digitized and the cephalometric tracing is done on our imaging computer. The imaging software enables Dr. Patel, to obtain both linear and angular measurements of the teeth, jaw(s), soft tissue and facial relationship(s) as it relates to each other and the face. Analysis of this data enables Dr. Patel to determine the appropriate orthodontic treatment plan that will result in the most attractive and functional facial harmony.


A panoramic x-ray (an x-ray that shows a panoramic view - a view of all the teeth and their relationship to each other) is used to view all the teeth, jaw bones, upper jaw sinus area, jaw joint areas. It tells us, if there are any missing or extra teeth, the condition and development of the teeth roots, or any other associated problems. Panoramic x-ray may also used to locate impacted teeth or missing teeth, and shortened or damaged tooth roots, to determine the amount of bone supporting teeth, and to evaluate position and development of permanent teeth that have not yet come in, among other things.


Digital Photographs: We fully document each new patient with three views of the face and five views of the teeth. We take full face, profile and intra-oral views so that the best result can be projected for the finished treatment and also, to compare the before and after treatment pictures.


Diagnostic Models (Study Casts): Impressions of the teeth are made so that we can make plaster casts of the teeth. Dr. Patel, studies these casts to see how the teeth fit together and the bite!

Customized Treatment Plan: After the records are taken, Dr. Patel will analyze thoroughly all the data gathered from the records appointment and will design a treatment plan.

Treatment Conference Appointment: After obtaining the above Diagnostic Records, we will schedule a treatment plan conference in about 7-10 days later to discuss the orthodontic treatment findings and any treatment recommendations. The treatment conference usually takes about 30-45 minutes. We encourage you, your spouse or the parent(s) of the minor child, to attend the treatment conference appointment.

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