What to expect at the first orthodontic visit

smiling patientAnyone at any age can see Dr. Burckhard for an initial orthodontic visit. At the first visit, he will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and bite, and then he will sit down with you to review photos of your teeth and bite to explain how you could benefit from orthodontic care if you are a candidate for treatment. He will address the following questions with you at the initial visit:

  1. Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
  2. When is the best time for treatment? Is it time for treatment now or should you wait for treatment for reasons such as growth or tooth eruption?
  3. What types of braces and/or orthodontic appliances are best for your needs?
  4. How long will treatment be?
  5. Do any permanent or baby teeth need to be extracted?
  6. How much will it cost and what are my payment options?

Answering these questions will help you to develop a good understanding of your orthodontic needs. In addition to these questions, Dr. Burckhard will be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Orthodontic records and consultation appointment

If you are ready for treatment, Dr. Burckhard will gather specific orthodontic records at his office (x-rays, photos, and 3D models of your teeth). He will then sit down and analyze these records after your appointment to determine the best treatment options for you. These treatment options will be reviewed with you at a consultation appointment before you get your braces. Dr. Burckhard believes this analysis of your specific case leads to more consistent, effective, and efficient treatment results. He also wants to be able to discuss your options with you before you begin so that you can ask questions to better understand your orthodontic treatment.

We also have a digital scanner that allows us to create 3D digital models of your teeth and eliminates the need for impressions during your orthodontic records.

Regular appointments

smiling patientOnce Dr. Burckhard has determined that you are ready for orthodontic treatment and you are ready to start, we will schedule your appointment to get your braces on. This is usually a longer appointment. After this, appointments are typically every 4-8 weeks and 20-40 minutes in length. Patients are seen by appointment only. If you cannot make an appointment, please try to contact our office at least 24 hours in advance.

Cost of treatment and payment plans

The cost of treatment depends on the severity of a patient’s orthodontic problem. It also depends on the length of time expected for the orthodontic treatment. You will be able to discuss fees and payment options before treatment begins.

  • We accept payment by cash, check, or credit card.
  • We offer a payment plan at 0% interest.
  • We can have payments deducted from your bank account if you choose.
  • We have payment plans and payment services to suit different budgets.

Our treatment fee includes:

  • Your orthodontic records (records and x-rays)
  • The proposed orthodontic treatment and appliances
  • The first set of retainers
  • Retainer follow-up care for six months after your braces are removed

*Services conducted outside our office that may be needed in conjunction with your orthodontic treatment are a separate fee.  Regular dental care with your dentist is also important during orthodontic treatment and is not part of your orthodontic treatment fee.


We accept most orthodontic insurance benefits, and we are in-network with certain Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Dental, United Concordia, and Medica plans.  We will be happy to work with you to determine your insurance benefit for orthodontic treatment.

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Best timing for initial orthodontic examination

Although Dr. Burckhard sees patients of all ages for initial visits, the American Association of Orthodontists says the ideal time for the first orthodontic visit is no later than the age of 7. By this age, most of the first adult molars have erupted helping to establish the back bite. It is helpful to get early orthodontic evaluations because growth plays an important role in most orthodontic treatments. Earlier initial visits allow Dr. Burckhard to evaluate for the following:

  1. location and number of baby and/or adult teeth present
  2. crowding/spacing
  3. crossbites
  4. overbite (how much the incisors overlap vertically)
  5. overjet (how much the incisors overlap horizontally)
  6. how the upper and lower teeth fit together
  7. jaw positions and how the upper and lower jaws relate to each other
  8. thumb/finger sucking habits
  9. protrusion of the upper incisors
  10. determining when a baseline x-ray should be taken to check permanent tooth position/development

This early evaluation allows Dr. Burckhard to determine the best time to begin orthodontic treatment for children. Most often the information gathered for children at this early visit serves as baseline information, and Dr. Burckhard will place them on a recall schedule that allows him to monitor their growth and development to determine the best time for their orthodontic treatment. Some children in this age range may benefit from early treatment for specific issues, and Dr. Burckhard will discuss this with you if this applies. Some benefits of early treatment can include:

  1. Creating room for crowded teeth
  2. Influencing facial growth with early interception
  3. Reducing trauma risks to protruding front teeth
  4. Preserving space for unerupted permanent teeth
  5. Reducing the need for permanent tooth removal in the future

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