We all have very busy schedules, and fitting in extra appointments can be difficult. If your child has been seen by an orthodontist, but wasn’t quite ready for braces, or if your child has undergone interceptive orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will most likely be scheduling orthodontic recall appointments for you. These appointments tend to be rather quick, lasting about 15 minutes, leading some to wonder if they are really necessary.
There are a few reasons why these appointments are important.
First, for patients who have had interceptive or Phase I treatment, it is important to check the fit and proper wear of the retainers. Phase 1 retainers maintain the position of the teeth that were aligned during this early stage and without proper wear the stability of this first phase of treatment can be compromised.
The recall appointment can also be used to check the condition of a space maintainer if that was used during the first phase of treatment. As the name implies, these space maintainers work to preserve the space that is needed for permanent teeth to erupt and are primarily used when a baby tooth is lost too early. At a recall appointment, your orthodontist can ensure that the appliance has not become dislodged and determine the correct time for when it should be removed.
Another objective of a recall appointment is to assess the timely loss of baby teeth and how the permanent teeth are erupting. It is vital for baby teeth to be lost at the correct time and in the correct order, which will then help the permanent teeth erupt properly.
Sometimes, at a recall appointment, your orthodontist may find out that a baby tooth is taking too long to fall out, or notice through x-rays that a permanent tooth is erupting in the wrong place. Necessary preventive steps can then be planned to correct the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
While this recall appointment may be simple and take very little time, it is imperative to ensure your child’s future smile. If a simple early problem is not diagnosed and corrected in a timely manner, it can make future treatment much more complicated and longer than it otherwise may have been.
Recall appointments also give us a time to discuss when it is the right time to begin the next phase of treatment also known as phase II. To have the most efficient treatment, we want to begin at precisely the correct time to have the most impact. These recall appointments allow the orthodontist to monitor your child’s growth to determine when that time is.
Dr. Salmassian is a Board Certified Orthodontist and specializes in comprehensive orthodontic care for the whole family. For any Questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation please contact our office at 661-222-7444 or visit us at www.salmassianortho.com